“Fifty Stars and my bloke were both pretty good runs [in the Mackinnon],” Dee said.
“Mine made up a lot of ground from back in the field. We’ve got a bad draw again tomorrow but I’m just going to bite the bullet and hopefully be able to be a little bit closer in the run, so we don’t have to make all that ground up when it counts.”
The nine-year-old finished eighth of 10 in the Caulfield Stakes, beaten by just 3.8 lengths from winner Cape Of Good Hope before making late ground in the Mackinnon to finish five lengths shy of Magic Wand.
“He’s given me a nice enough feel, a feel that’s definitely good enough for a Ballarat Cup, that’s for sure,” Dee said.
“He’s definitely in his right race now, this’ll be his third run here so he’s certainly ready to go now.
“He improved a hell of a lot from Caulfield to Flemington. Whether he’s improved again, I’m not sure, I haven’t sat on his back since then, but his run the other day was certainly good enough to be right in the Ballarat Cup.
“If everything goes to plan, I don’t see why he couldn’t win.”
Suzuka Devious, who has claimed more than $2.8 million in prizemoney, is a group 3 winner at the 2000-metre trip.
Dee, who had to sit out two weeks of the spring carnival due to a suspension, said he was pleased to ride a winner on Oaks Day.
Meanwhile, Harbour Views – a winner of five of six – has been scratched from the Ballarat Cup.
The Matthew Williams-trained galloper was second emergency before his trainer tweeted on Friday morning that the five-year-old had been sent for a spell.
He won his first five races before finishing an unlucky third on Oaks.
“@OTIRacing Harbour Views will be scratched from the Ballarat cup and head to the paddock for a well deserved break,” Matthew Williams Racing tweeted. “With some changes in his fetlocks it was decided to err on the side of caution and give him a spell.”
Dr Drill, trained by Ciaron Maher, David Eustace and to be partnered by Melbourne Cup-winning hoop Craig Williams, is the $3.50 favourite from Fifty Stars at $5.50.
One punter has placed $4000 each-way on Hang Man ($11/$3.60) with the TAB to collect $58,400 if the Michael Moroney-trained horse wins.
Damien Ractliffe is the Chief Racing Reporter for The Age.