Australian Bloodstock chief Jamie Lovett has sipped the sweet success from cups around Australia and big races worldwide. The Newcastle Cup, however, still eludes him and that's probably the reason Mugatoo will be at Broadmeadow on Friday.
The Metropolitan favourite could have run with less weight at Randwick but instead will attempt to become the first horse since the 1940s to win the Newcastle Cup with more than 58kg.
There are better races for emerging Mugatoo but none more important than the hometown cup for Lovett and trainer Kris Lees.
“We have won a Melbourne Cup, a Sydney Cup, a Brisbane Cup, Wyong and Gosford Cups but never the Newcastle Cup,” Lovett said. “We have run plenty of placings, I’m sick of running second in it.
“It is a race we have runners for every year on the way to other races, in the end, it is a group 3 handicap but it means more than that to us because it is at home.
“I’m sick of failing to win it, maybe this will be our year.”
Mugatoo is a $2.10 favourite with the import stepping out to 2300m as final preparation for The Metropolitan, leading a team of four Australian Bloodstock runners.
“He is ready to go but there is some history against him with the weight. I actually think [stablemate] Attention Run is probably better weighted in the race,” Lovett said. “She is in good form and was unlucky in the Wyong Cup last time and in this race last year.
“Hush Writer just kept running last year and she could get him. He is the one we have to beat again on Friday.
“We just want to see Mugatoo charging home and if he could win there will be a party, hopefully, put on by Kris Lees.”
Lees will also start Big Duke and Aliferous in the Australian Bloodstock silks, which could have a big day with Special Reward favourite for the Cameron Handicap, where Chief Ironside will also return, while Wandabaa will try to go one better in the Tibbie Stakes than in the Mona Lisa Stakes.
“We are strong all day. This meeting is always a launching pad for the spring for us,” Lovett said.
Mustajeer will go to the Kingstown Town Stakes at Randwick on Saturday, while Tactical Advantage could be a surprise packet in The Shorts.
“Mustajeer got an awful draw in 21, we just want to see him finding the line late to say he will be a factor later in the spring,” Lovett said. “Tactical Advantage is flying and in a race with a lot of pressure - he is not a $51 chance.”