Tom Melbourne has returned to Victoria for his latest attempt to end a long run of outs.
But the enigmatic gelding’s chances of breaking through for the first time since the 2016 Albury Cup have been dealt a blow despite Winx’s jockey Hugh Bowman going on in a race for the first time.
Tom Melbourne has a wide draw in the Group Three Moonga Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield and trainer Chris Waller says that is a concern.
“He is just going to need a little bit of luck from the gate,” Waller said.
“Asking him to do it at both ends isn’t ideal so we will just see how he begins and where Hugh (Bowman) can find a position, but I would expect it to be in the first four.”
Tom Melbourne has raced 27 times since his Albury Cup victory, finishing runner-up 11 times.
The Moonga Stakes will be his first Melbourne start since his second in the Group One Cantala Stakes at Flemington last spring.
Bowman won a barrier trial on Tom Melbourne in August.
Waller indicated Tom Melbourne had settled in well to the trainer’s Flemington stable since arriving from Sydney.
“Since being in Melbourne he has eaten well and has actually put on weight so he is going into the race in good shape and is bouncing out of his skin,” he said.