DOUBLE Trigger, the so-called circus horse with the white face, is a talking point throughout Australia as he prepares for the toughest assignment of his short but very successful career. To the amazement of locals, Double Trigger, the 5-1 favourite for Tuesday's Melbourne Cup, has maintained a strict training regime of walking, trotting and cantering on the turf for 90 minutes each day at Sandown Park. Such a schedule has prompted plenty of comment among rival trainers, who traditionally prepare for Australia's renowned two-mile handicap by galloping their horses twice a week in sharp workouts on artificial surfaces, and running them in prep races as close as three days before the Cup. Mark Johnston, who arrived in Melbourne on Wednesday, was pleased with the physical appearance of Double Trigger, who bids to become only the second European-trained horse to win the Melbourne Cup in its 135-year history. 'He appears to have done well during his period of quarantine and I am hopeful that he will run a very good race,' said Johnston. Last year, Johnston adopted a similar training programme with Quick Ransom, who finished 21st, but the trainer is firm in his belief that there must have been a good reason for the failure. 'I have a feeling the horse was wrong last year, not the training plan we had adopted with him. Also, I think there was probably too long a gap between his last run in Britain and the Melbourne Cup,' the trainer explained. Quick Ransom, now in the care of Lee Freedman, the leading Melbourne-based trainer, is a 10-1 chance for Tuesday's Cup following a fast-finishing third to stablemate Storm and Bullwinkle (Frankie Dettori's Cup mount) in the Moonee Valley Cup last Saturday. 'It would not surprise me at all if Quick Ransom were to win the race,' Johnston admitted. There has been speculation here that all is not well with Vintage Corp, who will attempt to emulate the great Peter Pan by winning Melbourne Cups two years apart. But Dermot Weld flew into Melbourne on Friday, and it was with certain optimism that he outlined the plans for the next few days. 'To me, Vintage Crop looks very well,' said Weld. 'He'll be doing one more gallop, over six furlongs, and that should have him right for the big day. 'When I look at the field for this year's race, I have two observations to make, and that is that both Jeune (at 7-1) and Bullwinkle (25-1) are over the odds. 'Jeune is already a Melbourne Cup winner and Frankie Dettori would not be travelling all that way way from England to ride Bullwinkle unless the horse has a good chance,' he said.