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Scottish star on target for Melbourne Cup

Scottish trainer Iain Jardine is pleased with how Cup hopeful Nakeeta is handling Australia.

The first Scottish trainer to have a runner in the Melbourne Cup has arrived in Australia to oversee final preparations for the big race.

Iain Jardine was at the Werribee racecourse on Sunday where Nakeeta has just completed quarantine.

Jardine arrived in Melbourne on Saturday evening and liked what he saw of Nakeeta.

“I’m really pleased with the way he looks,” Jardine said.

“The boys have been doing a good job with him and until now his preparation has gone very well.

“I’ve been seeing videos and photos that the boys have been sending over every day so it was what I was expecting to see.”

Heartbreak City’s second to Almandin in last year’s Melbourne Cup was the catalyst for Jardine to head to Flemington.

Nakeeta won this year’s Ebor Handicap at York, 12 months after Heartbreak City used the race as a test of his Cup credentials.

“Heartbreak City did the same as what our horse did this year,” Jardine said.

“That gave us the same ambition to come out here and he’s a very similar sort of horse.”

Glyn Schofield has been booked for the ride.

The Willie Mullins duo of Thomas Hobson and 2015 runner-up Max Dynamite are likely to head to Flemington on Tuesday for a gallop ahead of the Cup.

Dave Casey, the travelling foreman for Mullins, says the pair are in good order after completing their compulsory two weeks of quarantine at Werribee.

“Thomas Hobson did a strong piece of work on Saturday and had the morning off on Sunday and Max Dynamite is so laid back he went out and did a bit of work,” Casey said.

Joao Moreira will ride Thomas Hobson who is 32nd in the latest order of entry ahead of Monday’s next round of acceptances.

Casey said Wicklow Brave, who came out in an earlier shipment, had freshened up well since finishing 12th to Boom Time in the Caulfield Cup.

“Wicklow Brave is very fresh after his run,” Casey said.

“We haven’t done a lot with him, just freshened him up after his run.

“He was pulling his rider’s arm out the other morning.”

Casey said riders for Max Dynamite and Wicklow Brave were yet to be confirmed.

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