Newly-minted Group 1-winning trainer Michael Kent Jr is hoping a bit of Bart Cummings’ old magic can have Oceanex ready to fire in the Melbourne Cup.
Oceanex may miss a Caulfield Cup run next Saturday, she currently sits 28th on the order of entry and although there will be an attrition rate ahead of her she would need a lot of pieces to fall into place to make the 18-horse field.
But the training team of Kent Jr and Mick Price won’t be fazed.
The Geelong or the Moonee Valley Cup are the back-up plan and, regardless, everything is geared towards the first Tuesday in November.
Oceanex qualified for the Melbourne Cup through her win in the Andrew Ramsden in May and everything since has been done with the Melbourne Cup in mind.
She has finished no closer than 11th in three runs since but the training team insists that isn’t a worry.
Kent Jr, who won his first Group 1 with Odeum in the Thousand Guineas on Saturday, says she has been running over unsuitable trips and is going better than it might appear on paper.
“While she hasn’t come close in her three runs so far, we are simply building her towards a peak run knowing we are already in the Melbourne Cup,” Kent Jr says.
“I think her improving fitness, the rise in trip and the drop in weights will culminate on the right day she will stay.
“She is a bit more dour this prep again because of how we are training her – we are training her for one race, we know we are there in the Melbourne Cup.
“We didn’t have to have her sharp to win any earlier than that.
“So hopefully, a bit like a Bart Cummings prep of old, we can have her right on the right day.
“She is unbeaten past the mile and a half so you can’t really put a cap on her ceiling.”
Oceanex in action. Pic: Michael KleinSource:News Corp Australia
Kent Jr, the son of multiple Group I winning trainer Michael Kent, says it will simply be a thrill to have a runner in the Melbourne Cup.
His Dad had runners in the Melbourne Cup but for the younger Kent to have a runner is a dream.
Oceanex is currently a $26 Melbourne Cup chance on TAB.
“It’s awesome, it’s something I’ve been around before because Dad has had runners in the race even though they have been outsiders,” Kent Jr says.
“But to have a runner in my own name is simply awesome and it’s a luxury we are already in the race.”
Originally published asNew Group 1-winning trainer on Melbourne Cup trail
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