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Oceanographer races into Melbourne Cup contention

Godolphin will have its biggest Melbourne Cup representation ever after Oceanographer forced his way into the field for Australia’s biggest race with a barnstorming victory at Flemington on Saturday, October 29.

Oceanographer won the G3 Lexus Stakes, in so doing promoting himself into the Cup field of 24 and becoming the fifth Godolphin runner in the 2016 renewal of the A$6-million race.

He joins Hartnell from the John O’Shea stable, Beautiful Romance and Secret Number (Saeed bin Suroor) and his own stablemate, Qewy (Charlie Appleby).

Oceanographer’s win continued the outstanding form in Australia of the small team sent to Melbourne by Charlie Appleby.

Before the Lexus victory, Appleby had sent out the winners of the G3 Geelong and Bendigo Cups and had Scottish run second in the G1 Caufield Cup.

Appleby passed on a large share of the credit to winning rider Kerrin McEvoy who has ridden all of Appleby’s runners.

“Kerrin’s given him a fantastic ride, he’s on fire,” Appleby said.

“I told him to ride him however he wanted, I wasn’t going to tell him how to do it, and the horse has found for him.”

Oceanographer came from last with 500m to run to score by a long neck from Tom Melbourne with another Godolphin runner, Tally (John O’Shea/James McDonald) in third place.

Appleby confirmed that Oceanographer would be a definite runner in the 3200m G1 Melbourne Cup on Tuesday.

“He’ll back up for sure,” Appleby said.

“Whatever he does, he’s done us proud. We’ll just turn up on Tuesday and enjoy ourselves.

“The horses are thriving out here. The sunshine is doing them a power of good.”

The Godolphin royal blue has been carried by 20 runners in 14 Melbourne Cups since the first attempt on the race in 1998.

Godolphin’s founder, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, was represented in a further four Cups before 1998 by runners who carried his maroon and white colours.