Scratching gives Engine Caulfield Cup start


De Little Engine has gained a start in the Saturday's Caulfield Cup as a result of Kiwi mare Fantatic being scratched from the $3 million race.

De Little Engine's trainer Danny O'Brien said his stayer would take his place in the Caulfield Cup despite also being accepted to run in the Coongy Cup.

"We are happy to run in the Caulfield Cup, the horse worked strongly on Tuesday morning and might surprise a few people," O'Brien said.

Apprentice Ben Thompson will take the ride on De Little Engine in the Caulfield Cup and the 19-year-old was shocked when he received the call.

"I was riding in the jumpouts at Seymour and one of the barrier boys said to me my horse got a start in the Caulfield Cup," Thompson said.

"I thought he was geeing me up, I said don't muck around and make jokes about something like that.

"He laughed and said 'No, Fanatic has been scratched and De Little Engine is now in the field'.

"I couldn't believe it, I'm still pinching myself."

Thompson rode De Little Engine in a gallop at Flemington on Tuesday morning and believes the stayer is in magnificent order heading in to Saturday.

"His run in the Turnbull Stakes was very strong, his closing sectionals were impressive and I liked the way he worked this week," Thompson said.

Asked how he will handle his nerves ahead of Saturday, Thompson said he will keep to his routine.

"I always do my form with my Dad and that won't change," he said.

"I've got to ride at Moe on Thursday and then Cranbourne Friday night so that will keep me busy."

Story by Brent Zerafa, to view full Racing.com story click here

Photo by Bruno Cannatelli

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