Jenny - Clean

RACING Victoria stewards told champion Hong Kong-based Zac Purton that they had "grave concerns" over his ride on Fame Game in Saturday's $ 3.1million Caulfield Cup.

PATRICK BARTLEY reports for THE AGE that stewards grilled Purton at length about why he didn't hook to the outside when the field was nearing the 600 metres. At least three stewards said they were worried why, in a Caulfield Cup, a horse was "ridden for luck".

Fame Game  finished fourth and his was clearly the run of the race.

"You are a champion jockey and when you could see you could not get up on the fence why didn't you throw the rule book out the window and come out?" steward Rob Montgomery asked.

Purton replied that  the horse preferred racing inside horses and said the owners told him he performed at his best when racing that way and had not raced well when taken wide.

Stewards, chaired by Terry Bailey, said they were concerned that Purton was "riding for luck".

"I can't jump over them or get on a helicopter," he told them.

Fame Game's trainer Yoshitada Munakata told stewards the horse was  better when ridden between horses than going wide.

While the Australian-bred Mongolian Khan bravely took out the Caulfield Cup,  giving his trainer Murray Baker his first success in the race, they are now anxiously awaiting the penalty the stallion will receive for the Melbourne Cup.

Most of the Melbourne Cup hopefuls ran  brilliant trials for the Melbourne Cup,  particularly second-placegetter Trip To Paris, who may give trainer Ed Dunlop his first success.

For Dunlop the Melbourne Cup has been a bittersweet race, finishing second on three occasions with Red Cadeaux. 

The tough stayer is back in Melbourne for a fifth  attempt to win the race and, according to the stable,  is "thriving" at the Werribee quarantine station.

'It was a tremendous run today, a lovely ride and a nice position to be in," a spokesman said of Trip To Paris' performance. "They'll both enjoy the 3200metres of the Melbourne Cup so it's an exciting time." 

It would seem that once again that the Caulfield Cup form will prove a good guide to  the Melbourne Cup with Mongolian Khan having just his 13th start on Saturday and looking to be an excellent chance on completing the double  if he is not too heavily penalised on Monday.

Lee Freedman who made a return to  training just 12 months ago, could also add to his  five Melbourne Cups judging  on the performance of his German import Our Ivanhowe, who finished a brave third. 

 Our Ivanhowe  also earmarked himself as being a horse who will relish the Flemington 3200metres on November 3.

"He worked home well from the corner on a track that probably didn't suit him. I think he's a Flemington horse and I think he's going to be a player in the Melbourne Cup." Freedman said.

Snow Sky, a  strong English stayer, shaped as though Flemington will suit.

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