Melbourne Cup: Track bias big worry for Red Cardinal owner

Kerrin McEvoy rides Red Cardinal in trackwork at Werribee. Picture: Joe Armao
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A potential trackbias in favour of leaders and inside, on-pace runners could play a major role in deciding the Melbourne Cup, according to a Hunter connectionof Red Cardinal and Big Duke.

Flemington, rated a Good 3 on Monday,raced with the rail in the true positionlast Saturdayfor the first time since September 16 and runners on the fresher, inside section thrived.n Bloodstock director and form analyst Luke Murrell believesthe likes ofRed Cardinal, which will start from barrier 23, and favourite Almandin (gate 14) could struggle.

“My biggest concern from a Red Cardinal point of view is the track has been quite hard, and while he’ll handle a firm track, we saw on Saturday that the leaders and those up on the fence near the pacewere winning,” Murrell said.“I just hope we get a bit of a fairer track so the best horses can all have their equal chance.

“If the track plays like that, it will certainly suit Big Duke [barrier five] but not those horses out the back.

“Horses like the favourite, Almandin, he will be back worse than midfield and he’ll be no chanceif the track doesn’t start to fair up.”

He believed the surface four horses wide on the inside section was “not as chopped up” on Saturday and a strong headwind down the straightalso hurt the chances of horses trying to run on down the outside.

Murrell’s other runner on Tuesday isArticus, which will contest race eight, a$150,000 event over 1800m.

“Hewill be 100-1 butI think he will run really well,” Murrellsaid.“He’s only won one race in for us but if he runs anywhere near that, he’ll win that race.”

n Bloodstock won the 2014 Melbourne Cup with Protectionist.

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