A start in the $2.5 million Caulfield Cup for Sea Moon is there if Macedon Lodge wants it. The high-priced import qualified for the world’s richest 2400-metre handicap event with a fighting win in the $220,000 Herbert Power Stakes. Sea Moon had not passed the Caulfield Cup ballot heading into the Herbert Power, but secured his place with the Group 2 event carrying a ballot exemption.

Co-owner Nick Williams said the Robert Hickmott-trained galloper, who has 57kg in the Caulfield Cup, was a realistic chance of utilising it.

“I think the horse has shown today that he’s really improved from last week but we’ll make a decision in the next 24 hours whether we do run him next Saturday or whether we save him for another race en route to the Melbourne Cup,” he said.

The Beat Hollow entire, who started $3.50 favourite, turned in a tough on-pace effort to defeat Oasis Bloom ($11) by three-quarters-of-a-length with international galloper Simenon ($8.50) impressing at his Australian debut to finish just a short-head away third.

Sea Moon carried 59.5kg to victory in the Herbert Power, the heaviest weight carried to win the race since Rising Fast lumped the equivalent of 61kg in 1955.

The victory atoned for last week, when Sea Moon was first past the post in The Bart Cummings only to be relegated on protest, and Williams said the team is not scared of running three weeks in a row.

It was a strategy they employed in 1989 with Nayrizi, who finished second to Cole Diesel in the Caulfield Cup.

Should Sea Moon take his place in the Caulfield Cup he will be striving to join Master O’Reilly as the only Herbert Power Stakes winner to go on and claim the Caulfield Cup since Beer Street in 1970.

He may not be Macedon Lodge’s only galloper who could be a surprise starter in the Caulfield Cup with Green Moon also a chance to run.

Lloyd Williams said during the week that the Melbourne Cup winner would not start in the Caulfield Cup, but Nick said things changed when he was forced to be scratched from today’s Caulfield Stakes due to an elevated temperature.

“As long as he recovers from his temperature (he’s a chance),” Williams Jnr said. “Malcolm (McLaren, racing manager) and dad will sit down and weigh up all the options and decide whether he runs here next Saturday.”

What Macedon Lodge does with its imports is crucial to the make-up of the Caulfield Cup with weights to rise if neither start.

If Green Moon, the 58kg topweight, does not start weights would go up 1kg with Sea Moon the new topweight, but if the latter does not run they will go up a further 0.5kg with Manighar the topweight.

The full result of the Sportingbet Herbert Power Stakes is available here