Hall of Fame trainer David Hayes has earmarked the Emirates Melbourne Cup

 Hall of Fame trainer David Hayes has earmarked the Emirates Melbourne Cup as the Spring target for UK import Motivado after the son of Motivator scored a strong win in the Group 3 $115,000 Queen’s Cup (2500m) at Morphettville in Adelaide today.

Only ten minutes later and Hayes had a double when lightly-raced five-year-old Pago Rock scored a first up win in the $80,000 Elizabeth S Marshall Handicap (1100m) at Caulfield.

Noting that Motivado, a winner over 2800 metres in the UK, will be even better if he can get onto a rain-affected surface, trainer David Hayes said he would now be given a break and set for the Caulfield and Melbourne Cups.  

“A Group 3 win over that distance will get him where I want to be with the qualification for the Cups,” Hayes said.

“It was a terrific staying effort second up, I think he’s more of a Melbourne Cup horse than Caulfield.”

A fast-finishing fifth at his Australian debut at Caulfield over 1800 metres, jockey Stephen Baster settled Motivado ($3.60F) in a midfield position one-off the fence before allowing him to stride into the race approaching the home turn.

Taken to the outside in the home straight Motivado powered to the line and despite receiving a bump from Shiny Buttons ($3.90) on his inside 200 metres from home, he proved too strong in the run to the post to score by just over half-a-length from Shiny Buttons with last year’s winner Finiguerra ($5.50) 1.8 lengths away in third.

Turning attention back to Caulfield and Pago Rock could be joining Motivado in the Spring Racing Carnival mix after the son of Rock Of Gibraltar took his first up record to five wins from six starts.

Given a perfect ride by apprentice Chad Schofield, Lindsay Park Racing assistant trainer Bruno Rouge Serret said Pago Rock would have one more start this preparation before being set for a race like the Group 1 Sir Ruper Clarke Stakes (1400m) during the Spring.