Veteran stayer Who Shot Thebarman only has to satisfy his connections with his performance in the Moonee Valley Cup to confirms plans for a start in his fourth Melbourne Cup.
Who Shot Thebarman was third in the 2014 Melbourne Cup, 11th in 2015 and fifth last year.
The nine-year-old will be joined by his Chris Waller-trained stablemate Libran in Saturday’s Group Two Moonee Valley Cup.
All seven entries in the 2500m-race hold Melbourne Cup nominations.
“The dream is still alive but they’ve got to run well on Saturday to keep realistic chances alive,” Waller said.
“It’s a nice race for both horses on Saturday.”
Libran and Who Shot Thebarman ran in the St Leger Stakes at Randwick last start, finishing fifth and ninth respectively behind the Darren Weir-trained Big Duke who is the $2.20 Moonee Valley Cup favourite.
Along with three Melbourne Cup appearances, 2014 Auckland Cup winner Who Shot Thebarman has also contested four Sydney Cups, finishing second twice.
Waller says Who Shot Thebarman would run in the Melbourne Cup if he shows he can be competitive.
“We realise he’s not a realistic chance of winning the race, but what the Melbourne Cup does, to an owner, to everyday racegoers, it’s just a dream being a part of the race,” he said.
“So if we can see him run well on Saturday and realistically think he can be a top-10 chance then he’ll make his way into the field.
“He did run second in the Sydney Cup only six months ago.”
Of the Moonee Valley Cup runners, Who Shot Thebarman is highest in the latest Melbourne Cup ballot order at 15th and assured a start.
Big Duke (22nd) and Libran (24th) are also inside the top 24 at this stage.
Saturday’s winner is eligible for a weight penalty.
Brenton Avdulla will again be aboard Big Duke on Saturday.
“It’s obviously another stepping stone for the Melbourne Cup,” Avdulla said.
“I expect him to jump, travel comfortably and if he’s in the same form he was two weeks ago he’ll be hard to beat.”