THE spring racing carnival is in full swing throughout Australia.
While Chris Waller and champion jockey Glen Boss combined to win the inaugural $7.5 million Iron Jack Golden Eagle with Kolding at Rosehill on Saturday, another legendary hoop Damien Oliver saluted the judges on board Warning to claim the $2 million Victoria Derby at Flemington.
Closer to home, the Muswellbrook Race Club hosted its ever-popular Ladies Day - and the Sandy Hollow Cup - at Skellatar Park on Sunday.
With cash prizes and vouchers on offer for the Fashions on the Field, there were plenty of women vying for the top honours in the style stakes.
The action also returns to Muswellbrook on Tuesday, November 5.
The club will not only stage the Mayor's Cup and Bowman Sprint at its Melbourne Cup Day meeting, but it'll provide a big screen trackside to ensure everyone has an opportunity to watch "the race that stops a nation".
Meanwhile, Japanese stayer Mer De Glace has displaced Constantinople as the favourite despite both horses faring well at the barrier draw, according to AAP.
Mer De Glace firmed to $7 after coming up with gate two in the 24-horse field, just ahead of Constantinople ($8) who drew seven.
Finche also remains well in the market at $9 to give trainer Waller a first Cup win after drawing ideally in four.
While bookmakers reacted positively to Mer De Glace's inside barrier, trainer Hisashi Shimizu was not as confident.
Speaking through an interpreter, he indicated he would have liked a wider gate for the stayer, who jumped from 17 in his Caulfield Cup win under Australian jockey Damian Lane.
"To be honest we probably would have preferred a different barrier but I believe in the horse and the jockey," Shimizu said.
"Damian (Lane) should know all about this racecourse so I'll just let him work out the way."
Training partners David and Ben Hayes and Tom Dabernig had mixed luck with their trio but significantly their most-fancied entrant, Constantinople, fared ideally.
"We were hoping for between five and 10, snap-bang in the middle," Ben Hayes said.
"He should be able to get him in a lovely position from that gate and he should get luck."
The news was not as good for Surprise Baby, one of the more highly-rated Australian chances, who will have to overcome barrier 20.
Waller, however, will saddle up two runners, Finche and Youngstar (nine).
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