Melbourne Cup mountain ahead of Sierra Nevada

Melbourne Cup hopeful Sierra Nevada may miss out on his scheduled first-up start in Australia on Saturday.  The NZ visitor is fourth emergency for the Chandler Macleod Hcp (1523m) at Moonee Valley.

Sierra Nevada (4g High Chaparral – Rata by Dahar) arrived in Melbourne this week along with stablemate Bashan (Golan).

“He looks fantastic and has been working good,” co-trainer Richard Otto said.  “If he doesn’t make it to the Melbourne Cup, there are plenty of nice country races for him to pick up.”

Sierra Nevada came out of nowhere to run third in the G2 Avondale Guineas (2100m) in just his fifth start before following up with a brave fifth in the G1 New Zealand Derby (2400m) in March.

Otto has kept him in the wings ever since and the gelding has thrived with the long lay-off.  He has also been nominated for two events at Sandown Hillside next Wednesday, August 24.  “He will probably need at least a couple of tune-ups,” Otto predicted.  “He will be at his best over 1600m and beyond.”

Sierra Nevada is by Coolmore shuttler High Chaparral from Avondale winner Rata who descends from Group 1 winning filly Snowing (Vain).