Gingin-based Ashley Maley’s Megadon a favourite as fashions, fun to hit field at Geraldton for Melbourne Cup

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Reuben CarderGeraldton Guardian
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With strong fields on Tuesday in the Melbourne Cup Day meet at Geraldton Turf Club, Ashley Maley and Megadon look to be the best chance of taking some local pride.

Gingin-based Maley, who has five entrants on the day, said he was confident Megadon had the goods despite coming up against UK nine-year-old Harding, trained by Ken Nightingale, and a city horse in the Adam Durrant-trained four-year-old Snip’n’Tuck in race four, the 1600m Geraldton Toyota Handicap.

“I think he should win in that race for sure,” Maley said.

“I think he’s a good Geraldton sort of horse and I think there’s plenty more wins for him in that sort of grade.

“He’s probably good enough to win the odd one in Perth, another graduation, and apart from that probably stay around Geraldton.

“The others will be around the mark somewhere.

“There are no stand-outs amongst them but I think they’ll be around the first five.” Karnup-based Durrant has strung together half a dozen firsts in the last couple of Geraldton meets.

Local trainer Rhona McPhilomey, who has three runners on the day, said the local crowd had not proven to be overly strong company for city horses in the first three meets of the season.

But she said local stalwarts such as Gordon Spowart and Graeme Hammarquist would probably hit their stride soon.

Fashions queen Steph Johnson.
Camera IconFashions queen Steph Johnson. Credit: Geraldton Guardian

“Our horses will hopefully start coming to hand,” McPhilomey said.

“Megadon is going to be really hard to beat. Hopefully the Geraldton trainers can overhaul them (the visitors) sooner than later.

“Gordon hasn’t started. He always comes to hand late, but he’s a force to be reckoned with.

“Graeme hasn’t hit his top straps yet.

“I expect all my horses will put their best paces forward, and I expect to have a nice day.”

She praised work done by the turf club on the stalls and said Melbourne Cup day was one of the biggest days on the local calendar.

Spowart and Hammarquist both have runners on the day.

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There will also be Fashions on the Fields heats featuring local contestants like Steph Johnson, Ladies Day winner Eliza Hebiton, Christy Poulsen and Jo Kanny.

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