Surprise Baby (Image: Racing Photos)
Paul Preusker was full of admiration for his inexperienced stayer Surprise Baby, who finished fifth in Tuesday's $8 million Lexus Melbourne Cup (3200m) at Flemington.
Surprise Baby, who coming into the Lexus Melbourne Cup had won five of 10 starts including this year's Group 2 Adelaide Cup (3200m), settled towards the rear of the field before reeling off the quickest final 600 metres of the race (33.79 seconds).
Surprise Baby collected $230,000 in prizemoney in the race won by Vow And Declare in an overall time of 3:24.76, more than eight seconds outside the track record.
"He settled well and we just didn't get a cart into it at the right time," Preusker said.
"Mid-race when they dropped it to a 16.40 (second-split) I was like 'This is going to be tricky' and it was. But he wanted the line and was super competitive.
"Credit to Jordan (Childs) and the horse, you still want them to hit the line. I know it's not the result we wanted but it's still positive."
Preusker declared that Surprise Baby would be aimed at next year's Lexus Melbourne Cup.
"We'll definitely be back and have a bit of time to soak it in and come up with our next plan. A lot of things can go wrong in the meantime but if they don't he is a big player next year," Preusker said.
WATCH: Vow And Declare's win