The uniqueness of Saturday’s Andrew Ramsden Stakes at Flemington is certainly not lost on owners and trainers attempting to squeeze into this year’s Melbourne Cup.

The Andrew Ramsden, named after a Melbourne Cup-winning owner, is a 3200-metre race of $200,000 and the winner passes  the balloting clause for Australia’s most important handicap in the spring

To achieve an easy run into the Melbourne Cup without the nightmare of chasing certain races to gain a start is a bonus for the winner of Saturday’s race.

In 1984, when the race was named the Duke Of Norfolk Stakes, the Lloyd Williams-owned What A Nuisance was successful and 15 months later took out the 1985 Melbourne Cup. However, success stories such as What A Nuisance’s are  few and far between.

In 2011, Niewot was successful in the Andrew Ramsden, but could finish only eighth in the Melbourne Cup that year. It wasn’t a total loss for connections, however,  as he was the first Australian-bred horse past the post in the Cup.

Trainer Tony McEvoy is one trainer mindful of the difficult task of winning over 3200 metres when he saddles up Lucky Lucky Lucky in the listed race.

McEvoy, who purchased the horse from Sydney businessman Gerry Harvey two-and-a-half years ago,  believes the last few hundred metres of the race could be the stumbling block.

“He’s had one run at the trip [when] Kerrin McEvoy rode him in the Adelaide Cup and it seemed obvious the horse couldn’t cope with the distance,” he said.

“Kerrin said to me that he was beginning to struggle on the turn into the straight, but that run is a while ago and he’s racing in good heart so I thought why not another try?”

Lucky Lucky Lucky strode away to win effortlessly at Flemington early this month over 2800 metres.

“That was a tough win and all of his form before that pointed to him having improved and worthy of a crack at a race like this,” McEvoy  said.

The Darren Weir-trained  Master Zephyr and  Robert Smerdon’s  Ungrateful Ellen will contest Saturday’s Port Adelaide Cup in preference to the Andrew Ramsden.

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