Tom Melbourne has become a cult hero but winning the Doomben Cup will ruin a good gag

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If Tom Melbourne happens to win the Doomben Cup, no one will know what to do with themselves, says part owner Terry Henderson who also gave an update on Gailo Chop.

Part-owner Terry Henderson said if Tom Melbourne happened to win Saturday’s Doomben Cup, no one would know exactly what to do.

“Well it’s going to ruin the story, it will be a yin and a yang for everybody in the industry because what do we talk about after that?” he said of the bridesmaid who has become somewhat of a cult hero.

Tom Melbourne has been left to fly the flag for Henderson’s OTI Racing after the tendon injury to former Cup favourite Gailo Chop late last week.

Henderson said there is still hope Gailo Chop will race again, despite injuring the same tendon that sidelined him for 16 months two years ago.

“The lesion is relatively small. The prognosis on normal situations is 60-75 per cent for recovery back to racing. The process we’ve been using and used with him the first time is actually a bit better than that,” he said.

“If all goes well he will get back into work and then we will assess whether we’re putting too much pressure on the horse or not.”

Tom Melbourne is trying to snap a two-year losing drought in the Doomben Cup, after garnering one of the biggest followings in Australian racing after notching 10 second placings since that day.

Henderson says he and the fellow owners enjoy the banter that now accompanies the horse every time he races.

“I think it’s very good for racing. Especially in Victoria, we need to lighten up a bit,” he said.

“The story around Tom, even though it’s far more flippant than what’s happened down here at the moment (with Aquanita scandal), is actually good.”

Henderson describes Tom Melbourne as a “quirky” horse.

“Gailo is an absolute puppy dog, whereas Tom is a normal horse, but he has some of these very unusual habits,” he said.

“Early days, he used to pile up all his straw in the middle of his box for some reason. It was quite odd. If he was a kid you would be getting him treated by somebody.

“I think he’s just been a victim of being beaten by better horses in the majority of cases and in a couple of cases, a bit of bad luck.

“Either he’s an equine freak or a statistical freak.

“He’s won well over a million dollars now and he’s won $700,000-odd since his last win.

“He’s not costing us anything — well he’s costing us the opportunity of having more money — but outside of that, he’s paying his way and I think those around him, the people in Chris’s stable and Chris (Waller) himself, they like the horse, he’s quite a genuine horse.” – Nathan Exelby,