Lexus Melbourne Cup hopeful Super Girl (Credit: Racing Photos)
By Michael Manley
Josh Julius has five weeks left to pursue a start in the race he’s dreamt about with his six-year-old mare Super Girl, the Lexus Melbourne Cup, and he’ll do his utmost to secure one.
If he doesn’t manage to get her in this year, his plan is he’s going to set-up a start in next year’s race.
Juilius had set the daughter of So You Think for The Bart Cummings at Flemington on Saturday, but with a strong edition she’s fourth emergency.
If Super Girl doesn’t get a run at Flemington, Julius said she would have her next start in either the Herbert Power Stakes at Caulfield or one of the two races at Cranbourne, the Pinker Pinker Plate or the Cranbourne Cup the following weekend.
After that he said Super Girl would run in either the Geelong Cup, Bendigo Cup or the Moonee Valley Cup.
Julius said if she hadn’t boosted her ratings or weight to get into the Lexus Melbourne Cup he would consider a start in the Lexus Hotham Stakes to try and win the golden ticket.
His other Flemington alternatives for Super Girl are The Macca’s Run over 2800m race on Lexus Melbourne Cup Cup or the Queen Elizabeth Stakes over 2600 metres on the final day of the carnival, November 7.
“It was my goal and my dream to get her into the Melbourne Cup this year but if that doesn’t work then hopefully we can lift her ratings up and qualify for next year’s race,” Julius said.
“It might work out for the best though as with another season of racing behind her next year’s Melbourne Cup might be the better race for her.”
“I was hoping this year with the pandemic that the opportunity might be there for us to get in without any international participation but it’s going to be as strong as it ever has been. I’ll keep doing everything I can to qualify her for the Melbourne Cup.”
31-year-old Julius has been training for ten years beginning at Warrnambool. He moved to Bendigo five years ago and now trains a team of 18.
He said the emergence of Super Girl had turned his career around and he had been able to attract a lot more clients and horses.
Super Girl has had only 21 starts and emerged earlier this year as a stayer of great promise.
The lightly raced stayer finished fourth in the Warrnambool Cup and then tried to win her way into the Lexus Melbourne Cup in The Andrew Ramsden Stakes at Flemington where she finished third behind Oceanex and King Of Leogrance.
“That run gave me the confidence to pursue a start in the Melbourne Cup. Oceanex and King Of Leogrance are both in the Melbourne Cup and we weren’t far away from them,” Julius said.
Super Girl resumed from a spell in August. She then had a let-up and won first-up at Sandown Hillside over 1500 metres where she was ridden to victory by Josh’s little sister Melissa.
Super Girl has since finished fifth at Sandown Hillside behind Le Baol and then 11th in the Group 3 Naturalism Stakes at Caulfield.
Julius was happy with that run, saying she produced the second best last 1000 metres for the race.
“That’s what I wanted to see which was for her to run on and she’s ready for a longer race,” he said.
Julius boasts a rich racing pedigree as his father Geordie was a jumps jockey and his grand-father Leo Dwyer was a clerk of the course for 50 years.
One of his first jobs in racing was working for Ciaron Maher at Warrnambool and he strapped Tears I Cry when he won the Cantala Stakes which gave the trainer his first Group One winner.
Super Girl is owned by Bendigo lawyer Jim Middlemiss and Julius said he had been a great supporter of him.
Julius explained that he had been pre-training and breaking in a couple of horses each year for Middlemiss and Super Girl was one of them.
Super Girl was initially trained by Leon and Troy Corstens but after a campaign with them, Middlemiss gave her to Julius to train.
“It’s been a godsend. She’s been my flagship horse.”