Wordplay ready for action
Wordplay is following a more traditional path to her spring finale than her half-brother Fiveandahalfstar a year ago, but Anthony Cummings predicts the result will be the same. Fiveandahalfstar won a restricted race at Rosehill a week before his surprise win in the Victoria Derby, while Wordplay prepares for her Oaks bid next week via Saturday's Wakeful Stakes (2000m) at Flemington. "The timing is there and she's in just about the right race on Saturday," Cummings said.
Beeb says farewell to Flemington
On a day dominated by talk of English, Irish and French horses and how they are hijacking Australia's greatest race, one "foreigner" will pack up after Tuesday's Melbourne Cup, never to return to Flemington. This year's Cup will be the last broadcast by the BBC and probably one of the final race calls ever for its pioneering Australian commentator Jim McGrath. The decision to cease broadcasting the Cup follows the BBC's withdrawal this year from covering British racing on radio.
Spencer's Side Glance at victory
Pearl Bloodstock-retained jockey Jamie Spencer walked the Flemington track on Thursday, where he hopes to make a winning Australian debut on Side Glance in Saturday's Mackinnon Stakes. Spencer also has the ride on 2011 Melbourne Cup winner Dunaden on Tuesday but he expects Side Glance to improve on his sixth in the Cox Plate. “He got going very hard for Craig [Williams] last week hopefully that run has taken the freshness off him and he can show what a good horse he is on Saturday," Spencer said.