The Grey Wizard earns Melbourne Cup ticket

Sweeping finish at Saratoga sees The Grey Wizard claim a spot in Melbourne Cup.

Jockey : John R Velazquez
Jockey : John R Velazquez Picture: Alan Crowhurst/Getty Images for Ascot Racecourse)

The early indications are positive that the 2024 Group 1 Melbourne Cup could have an American influence after The Grey Wizard won a golden ticket into Australia's most famous race by winning the Belmont Gold Cup at Saratoga.

It was the first time that the Victoria Racing Club (VRC) had offered the incentive in the Grade 2 event over 3219-metres.

Ridden by JohnVelazquez, The Grey Wizard ($8.50) swept late in a three-way photo finish to claim the Belmont Gold Cup – a different edition with it being run away from the famous Belmont circuit in New York.

The VRC's Leigh Jordon said that England-born now US-based trained Graham Motion commented on the "great concept" and was open to making the journey to Melbourne in springtime.

The $1.70 favourite Siskany, ridden by William Buick, faded out of contention in the final straight in a race run at a frenetic pace for most of the trip.

Run on a firm turf surface, the winning time was 3:18.35 – two seconds outside of Kingston Rule's long standing 3200-metre record at Flemington.