What the Cup chances did: Saturday, 23rd September 2017

What the Cup chances did: Saturday, 23rd September 2017

Did the Melbourne Cup winner run on Saturday, September 23rd?

It was a bit of an ‘off’ week for racing generally after last Saturday’s excitement, but the two outstanding performances where the Cup is concerned came from Harlem and Gingernuts.

Outside of those two, there wasn’t a lot to talk about but there were a few hard luck stories in the mix as well. Here’s the run-through.


Naturalism Stakes (2000m)

The Naturalism saw a string of Caulfield and Melbourne Cup horses attempting to boost their chances of making either field. The pace of the race throughout was good enough to be just outside the track record for the 2000m – 2:00:43 vs 2:00:38 the record.

Harlem – 1st

Resounding win carrying decent weight in that near track record time. He’s suddenly in with a big chance now in the Caulfield Cup, following the Jameka path from last year where she won both races as well. The win was in a similar style to Jameka’s win as well so it’s a little uncanny.

A nice result for the Lindsay Park team who are looking very strong in the spring. David Hayes has won the Caulfield Cup twice before.

Update Harlem earned himself a 0.5kg penalty in both the Caulfield and Melbourne Cups to take his weight to 51.5kgs in both races.

“Harlem proved he has the class to be competitive in the Caulfield Cup with a relatively light weight,” Carpenter said.

“Harlem was very strong at the end of the Naturalism Stakes, beating Samovare and Stampede in a race that was run at a genuine speed throughout.”

Samovare – 2nd

Beat Stampede in a bobbing go for second with a good finish without making much of an impact on the winner. Note jockey Noel Callow was suspended for the ride for causing interference at the 1800m mark.

Stampede – 3rd

Stampede was run down between the 300m and 200m and weakened out of it from there, having done the donkey work. He was brave, carrying more weight than the two that beat him. He did fall away more than you’d have liked with one of the slowest last 200m sectionals.

Amelie’s Star – 4th
Abbey Marie – 5th

Both of these mares came down down the outside, and both finished the best of the chasers. Amelie’s Star is the one worth following, with the fastest finish of all, breaking 12s for the last 200m. She also had the fastest last 1000m to give you an idea of how well she went from back in the field.

She probably wins something easier as she’s fit and looking for further distance. Will need a tiny weight in a big race to figure.

Sir Isaac Netwon – 6th

The big chestnut was far better than when we saw him last so that’s the main positive after suffering atrial fibrilation. Given a good ride along the inside and finished off well enough.

Tally – 7th

Copped severe interference from Samovare early in the race which was a setback. Given it was at the 1800m mark it’s hard to say how badly that impact him in the finish, but not ideal.

Most of what finished after Tally didn’t impress and are either aiming too high or just aren’t showing their best.

Harlow Gold – 8th
Vengeur Masque – 9th
Big Duke – 10th

Finished in a bunch close to Tally. None of them were too good today – Big Duke closed on after not having much room to work late but it wasn’t too encouraging for a prep that had been building.

Magnapal – 11th
Second Bullet – 12th
Articus – 13th
Settler’s Stone – 14th

These four were all around eight lengths off and didn’t make much impact. Perhaps most disappointing was Magnapal who won last start. The rest are going about where they finished.

Gallante – last

Didn’t fire a shot at all first-up.

Lojac Civil Handicap (1800m)

Anaheim – 1st

Not the greatest field in this race, with Anaheim the only stayer nominated for the Melbourne Cup. Duly won at $9 second-up where he might’ve been vulnerable so a good performance.

Post-race, Busuttin said he only like firm tracks which will affect when and where he races. Will need to keep winning or running top three to make the great race.


Colin Stephen Quality (2400m)

Auvray – 1st

The Richard Freedman trained Auvray got the job done in a great three-way finish, and survived a protest from the second-placed Admiral Jello. Auvray looked like he was going to go straight past his rivals but managed to get the job done.

Jockey Glyn Schofield said: “I had to produce him a lot earlier today because Gai’s runner Dee I Cee wasn’t really dragging me anywhere and Tim (Clark’s) horse was getting rolling. It’s a 50/50 call with him because you’re not sure with his past manners whether he is going to put the effort in but he certainly did today.’’

Auvray is probably a good light-weight Metropolitan horse but would need to back-up again after already backing up in the Newcastle Cup.

Admiral Jello – 2nd

Not far off Auvray but carried 2kgs less so deserved to do better.

Jockey Corey Brown said : “Ran really well, but he was cramped for room for about a furlong straightening, the most vital part of his race and he wasn’t allowed to let down.”

Here’s that protest:

Broadside – 3rd

Topweight and wasn’t far away. Top three aren’t far from each other and they fought out a similar finish in the Newcastle Cup. Is their Sydney form enough to really challenge the Melbourne runners?

Dee I Cee – 4th

Didn’t travel all that well today to finished 6.4L off them.

Jockey Adam Hyeronimus said: “He went well just very one paced, he’s looking for a bit further as well.”

Darabad – 5th

Rubbish run and he doesn’t look like he wants to race at the moment.

Kerrin McEvoy: “He battled, he’s going to need to turn his form around. He never went when I asked him.”

New Zealand

Gingernuts won the Group 1 Windsor Park Plate (1600m) and gee he looks good. A big chance in the Caulfield Cup.

The Te Akau team decided to take on another Kiwi race in the Group 1 Livamol Classic (2040m), rather than head across to the Melbourne Spring before the Caulfield Cup. He’s going supremely well. The army of 42 owners will be delighted.

Other updates:

I’d rule the talented Alward out of a race like the Melbourne Cup. He won the Ranvet (BM 82) but Hugh Bowman said he’ll be up to Group 1s next year. I’d expect that to be the case.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *