Molotov and Master rocket up cup charts

WHAT used to be known as Craiglee Stakes day invariably unearthed Caulfield and Melbourne Cups winning chances, most notably Let's Elope, who won the double in 1991. Now known as the Makybe Diva Stakes meeting, nothing has changed.

Two of yesterday's winners, Molotov and Master O'Reilly, have emerged as genuine lightweight hopes for the $2.5 million Caulfield Cup (2400m), run on October 20.

Both Molotov (50.5 kilograms) and Master O'Reilly (50 kg) have a bit to do to escape the ballot in the Caulfield Cup, but there is no doubt they are heading in the right direction.

Trainer Danny O'Brien was thrilled with Master O'Reilly's effort in the Antler Luggage Handicap (2000m).

"Horses just don't do that," O'Brien said of the five-year-old's explosive finishing burst on a track that had not suited backmarkers — although the solid pace was in his favour.

Master O'Reilly ($3.90 favourite) ranged up out wide at the 200 metres and then raced right away to win by three lengths from Red Lord ($8.50) with Magnetic ($13) 1¼ lengths away third.

Eskander's Betstar immediately hauled Master O'Reilly's Caulfield Cup quote in from $34 to $17.

O'Brien said he would attempt to escape the ballot with Master O'Reilly by winning either the Naturalism Stakes (2000m) or the Winning Edge (2400m), both at Caulfield.

The fact that Master O'Reilly also showed a distinct liking for the new Flemington was a bonus for O'Brien, who has an eye on the Melbourne Cup. The win completed a double for O'Brien, who won earlier with Pins On Parade, and jockey Vlad Duric, who combined with Cranbourne trainer Wendy Kelly for her first group-race success with Bon Hoffa in the group 3 Bobbie Lewis Quality (1200 metres).

by Tony Bourke - The Age

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