Great House Earns His Ticket to the Melbourne Cup

Mark Smith - Saturday October 30

The first two for Chris Waller and James McDonald on Victoria Derby Day as Highclere Thoroughbreds’ Great House (IRE) made sure of his place in Tuesday’s Melbourne Cup when he wore down Mankayan (IRE) in the Group III Lexus Hotham Hcp (2500m) at Flemington.

The Group III Newcastle Cup winner was not beaten far in the Group 1 Metropolitan at Randwick and Group 1 Caulfield Cup at his two most recent starts.

Great House finishes best (image Grant Courtney)

The son of Galileo had to work hard to overcome Linda Meech on a stubborn Mankayan (Intello) who only handed up in the final 50 metres to go down by three-quarters of a length.

Emissary (GB) (Kingman) was a further two and three-quarter lengths back in third to make it a 1-2-3 for European-breds who had seven of the eight starters.  

McDonald said he had to work for the win.

“He had to tough it out there,” McDonald said.

“It was genuine tempo and he got the first half beautifully relaxed, chimed into it, and I actually thought that he was going to win a bit easier. But that was a tough horse inside me (Mankayan).”

Great House (IRE) made certain of his place in Tuesday’s Melbourne which his odds were slashed from $51 to $26.

Great House (image Reg Ryan/Racing Photos)

“With 50kgs, it is obviously a nice light weight to go into a race like that, but we have the quest to find a rider to ride at that light weight. I’m sure Chris has pencilled in a few,” stable representative Jo Taylor said.

“He came through that Caulfield Cup really well. On Tuesday his work here at Flemington was the work of the morning from my horses. He reproduced that today with a very good ride from James.

“There’s a reason that he’s the champion that he is with rides like that. Absolutely timed to perfection.

“He’s been a nice sound horse, and he’s been honest. Every time we’ve raised the bar he seems to have stepped up to the plate, so why not keep doing that?”

A 175,000gns purchase by Highclere Racing at the 2020 Tattersalls Online August Sale, Great House (IRE) advances his record to five wins, two seconds, and three thirds from 15 starts with earnings of $694,290.

A half-brother to Group III Maisons-Laffitte Prix Miesque winner Aboule (Exceed And Excel), Great House (IRE) is one of six winners from 10 to race out of the Indian Ridge mare Anja.

Anja is a half-sister to French Derby winner Anabaa Blue out of Allez Les Trois, a half-sister to King’s Best and the great racemare and even better broodmare Urban Sea, the dam of, among many greats, Galileo, the sire of Great House (IRE). 




Race Result - Hotham Gr3 2500m

Flemington Track: Good(4) Time: 2:34.56
Great House
- 5g Galileo (IRE) x Anja (IRE) (Indian Ridge (IRE))
Tnr: C J Waller Rdr: J B Mc Donald 57.5
- 6g Intello (GER) x Angelic Note (IRE) (Excellent Art (GB))
Tnr: C Maher & D Eustace Rdr: Ms L J Meech 54
- 5g Kingman (GB) x Soviet Moon (IRE) (Sadler's Wells (USA))
Tnr: M D Moroney Rdr: G Boss 54
Le Don De Vie
- 6g Leroidesanimaux (BRZ) x Leaderene (GB) (Selkirk (USA))
Tnr: A & S Freedman Rdr: D Oliver 58
King's Charisma
- 5g Teofilo (IRE) x Bawaakeer (USA) (Kingmambo (USA))
Tnr: C Maher & D Eustace Rdr: Jye McNeil 54
Mirage Dancer
- 8h Frankel (GB) x Heat Haze (GB) (Green Desert (USA))
Tnr: T Busuttin & N Young Rdr: C Newitt 59
Knights Order
- 7g So You Think (NZ) x Lamanka Lass (USA) (Woodman (USA))
Tnr: G Waterhouse & A Bott Rdr: Jordan Childs 58.5
Sous Les Nuages
- 5g Holy Roman Emperor (IRE) x Sousmarine (IRE) (Montjeu (IRE))
Tnr: Matthew Cumani Rdr: Fred W Kersley 54
Fun Fact
- 6g The Factor (USA) x Fill The Page (AUS) (Dane Shadow (AUS))
Tnr: Bjorn Baker Rdr: Rachel King 57
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