Scone trainer Rod Northam expects his first Melbourne Cup program runner to enjoy the true Flemington surface on Tuesday.
After All That is in the listed 1200-metre race nine from gate 11 with Tim Clark aboard. It will be the seven-year-old’s first run since sixth in the $1.3 million Kosciuszko (1200m) on a heavy Randwick track on October 13.
“He ran well but the track was ordinary and he just didn’t handle it,” Northam said. “I just thought this would be a nice race for him. I thought Flemington would suit him. He’s drawn 11, he should be able to sit just off the speed and get into the clear at the right time.”
Champion Cessnock jockey Robert Thompson, who rode Reckless Tradition in the 1986 Melbourne Cup, usually partners After All That but will steer Philadora and Professor Marx for Northam in a full book of rides at Muswellbrook.
“He’d rather ride at Muswellbrook,” Northam said with a laugh. “They are two nice chances for him so hopefully it will be a big day.”
Northam said he has had runners on the other three Melbourne spring carnival feature days but not on Cup day “so that will be good. It will be a bit of a thrill”.
Newcastle trainer Kris Lees has Douhkan (race four) and Princess Posh (race 10) are also running on the program.