Realm of Flowers, ridden by Mark Zahra, wins the Andrew Ramsden Stakes (Image: Racing Photos)

Realm of Flowers, ridden by Mark Zahra, wins the Andrew Ramsden Stakes (Image: Racing Photos)

Light spring campaign for Cup hope

Equal Lexus Melbourne Cup third favourite Realm Of Flowers is steadily building fitness ahead of her racetrack return next season.  

Realm Of Flowers' co-trainer Sam Freedman, who trains in partnership with his father Anthony, told Racing.com that the 4.75-length winner of May's $400,000 Listed Andrew Ramsden Stakes (2800m) was in good shape for her Lexus Melbourne Cup campaign.

"She's been up to Queensland for a little freshen up over there," Freedman said. "She's been back to Pinecliff (Freedmans' stables on the Mornington Peninsula) and is ticking along.

"She had a nice gallop on Tuesday morning and we'll just keep building her fitness levels up."

Freedman hinted that Realm Of Flowers would have a light spring campaign, akin to when stablemate Steel Prince won the 2019 Ramsden and ran ninth later that year in the Lexus Melbourne Cup.

Steel Prince had three Lexus Melbourne Cup lead-up starts, finishing fourth in the Listed Heatherlie Handicap (1700m), sixth in the G3 Naturalism Stakes (2000m) and seventh in the G3 Geelong Cup (2400m).

"She won't have a taxing campaign heading into the Lexus Melbourne Cup, we haven't quite nailed down where she'll head, but she'll probably have two or three runs leading in (to the Cup)."

Mark Zahra guided Realm Of Flowers, a daughter of So You Think, to victory in the Andrew Ramsden, which granted him ballot exemption for the 2021 Lexus Melbourne Cup.

"Exciting for all the owners with a ticket into the Lexus Melbourne Cup, she'd be a live chance, she's a fantastic stayer," Zahra said in the aftermath of her Ramsden success. 

Incentivise ($13) and Prince Of Arran ($15) are at the top of markets, with Realm Of Flowers sharing the third line of betting with last year's Lexus Melbourne Cup runner-up Tiger Moth.