!!!!! CEDARBERG IS STILL ALIVE IN THE CUP !!!!!
Lightly-raced stayer Cedarberg has kept the Melbourne Cup dream alive for his connections after scoring an upset win in the Ansett Classic at Sandown.
The promising four-year-old posted his second win in eight starts on Saturday to pass the first ballot clause for the Cup.
At his last start Cedarberg was second in a 0-68 class handicap over 2015 metres at Seymour but now with career earnings of $89,467 the Pat Carey-trained stayer is 74th on the list of Melbourne Cup qualifiers.
He is not in the Caulfield Cup.
One of the two outsiders at $31 in the Ansett Classic, Cedarberg carried the minimum 53kg and toughed out a half-length win over Miles Above ($6.50) and Rentarossa ($31).
Cedarberg has 50kg in the Melbourne Cup and Racing Victoria chief handicapper Greg Carpenter said he would not penalise the Helenus gelding for his win at Sandown.
Carey said the plan had always been to try to find a 2400-metre race where Cedarberg would have "no weight on his back".
"He's a lightly-raced horse and I think he has a good future in front of him," Carey said.
"He's paid up for the Melbourne Cup and we will have a look around and keep the dream alive."
Carey was so impressed with Cedarberg last season that he ran him in the AJC Australian Derby.
He led and faded to finish seventh to Shoot Out but was injured during the race.
"He would have finished a lot closer but got galloped on about 600 metres from home," Carey said.
"The plan now is to keep pushing forward."
Carey said the Group Two Herbert Power Stakes (2400m) was likely to be Cedarberg's next start.
"It would be a nice stepping stone for a horse like him at this stage," Carey said.
"It is a race that a lot of local horses have to run in to progress into the spring.
Cedarberg's only other win was at his race debut at Mornington in January this year but jockey Chris Symons has followed the gelding closely and rode him when unplaced at Sale four starts ago.
"He is really untapped," Symons said.
"I had seen him race before and I thought they were generous offering him at 30-1.
"He was always going to be in the first three today and I didn't underestimate the horse."
Miles Above was among four horses that needed to win Saturday's race to qualify for the Caulfield Cup.