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Thursday, 13 December, 2018

Doncaster assignment to determine Nakeeta Melbourne Cup participation

Nakeeta (near) winning the Ebor for trainer Iain Jardine in August 2017
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Last year's Ebor winner and Melbourne Cup fifth Nakeeta has a Doncaster date on Friday, after which a decision will be made about whether he heads back down under for another crack at Australia's greatest race.

Weights for the Lexus-backed Grade 1 handicap on November 6 were revealed on Tuesday and Nakeeta has been allotted 53kg (8st 5lb).

Trainer Iain Jardine said: "Nakeeta runs on Friday at Doncaster and how he fares there will determine whether he goes to Melbourne or not.

"He ran very well in the Ebor last month to be seventh considering he was running against a Group horse in the shape of Muntahaa."

The Darren Weir-trained Humidor heads the list on 58kg (9st 2lb), followed by the Saeed Bin Suroor-trained Best Solution and Aidan O'Brien-trained Lancaster Bomber, both on 57.5kg (9st 1lb).

Muntahaa is on 55.5kg (8st 10lb), while Withhold, the Roger Charlton-trained favourite, is 58th on the list for a race with a maximum field of 24 on 53kg (8st 5lb), but plenty will change over the next eight weeks in terms of pecking order and weights.

Balding pair entering quarantine

The Andrew Balding-trained duo of Duretto 54.5kg (8st 8lb) and Count Octave 54kg (8st 7lb) are intended runners, and both will be entering quarantine on Thursday.

Count Octave (right) took a step forward on his previous start when second to Stradivarius at York
Balding said: "We're planning to run the pair, with Count Octave needing slightly more to come out than Duretto. With his weight allocation, however, Count Octave would have been guaranteed a run in three of the last four years.

"Both have shown a high level of form this season and enter quarantine on Thursday."  

Melbourne Cup entries

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He ran very well in the Ebor considering he was running against a Group horse in the shape of Muntahaa
E.W. Terms
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