Joseph O’Brien’s Downdraft wins in Flemington to claim Melbourne Cup spot

Downdraft and Johnny Allen win the Group 3 Lexus Hotham Handicap at Flemington. Credit: Racing Images.

Downdraft and Co. Cork-born Australia-based rider Johnny Allen provided Joseph O’Brien with a win early on Saturday morning at Flemington Racecourse in Melbourne.

The victory means Downdraft, who entered this morning’s Group 3 Lexus Hotham Handicap (2,500m) in 24th place in the Lexus Melbourne Cup Order of Entry, is now guaranteed a run in Australia’s most iconic race next Tuesday.

Downdraft, who powered to victory today at Flemington, will not be penalised for the win, therefore the son of Camelot will carry 53.5kg in the Melbourne Cup.

Downdraft and Johnny Allen booked their place in the Lexus Melbourne Cup. Credit: Racing Images.

He will be joined in the field by his stablemates Latrobe, Twilight Payment and Frankie Dettori’s mount, Master Of Reality, giving Joseph O’Brien, who won the 2017 Lexus Melbourne Cup with Rekindling, a total of 4 runners in Tuesday morning’s showpiece over 3,200m.

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