What the Cup chances did: Saturday, 9th September 2017

What the Cup chances did: Saturday, 9th September 2017

Did the Melbourne Cup winner run on Saturday, September 9th? Let’s take a look!

Moonee Valley

Ladbrokes Odds Boost (Bm84) (1600m)

Samovare – 1st

This four-year-old mare came over from Perth for David Hayes, Ben Hayes and Tom Dabernig, and looks to be thriving in her three starts two seconds over Flemington 1400m and a win today over 1600m, with Damien Oliver on board. She did it well down the outside after coming from further back than they were hoping for.

David Hayes says he can’t wait to get her to 2000m and she should run next in the Naturalism or the JRA Cup.

Moonee Valley

Dato Tan Chin Name Stakes (1600m)

Bonneval – 1st

Four-year-old New Zealand mare Bonneval staked her claim for spring riches by winning the Dato’ Tan Chin Nam Stakes at WFA over 1600m.

The NZ and ATC dual Oaks winner made it an impressive five straight wins when she held off handy mare Abbey Marie over the concluding stages. Half way down the straight she did look in danger of being claimed, but showed her staying prowess to hold her own at the finish.

She looks right on track for every big staying race this spring, especially considering there were murmurs that she would need today’s race to attain more fitness for the bigger targets in store.

Her jockey, Damian Lane, said: She’ll improve off that run too. She has still got her New Zealand winter coat on her. She’ll benefit fitness-wise and it just shows how good the win was.

So what of her Melbourne Cup prospects? Well, it’s interesting because she’s entered for the Cox Plate, Caulfield Cup and Melbourne Cup, but they’re only talking about the Caulfield Cup at this stage.

It’s always good to see a high class successful Autumn staying horse resume in this manner. Too many don’t find their form a few months later, but those who do generally maintain it over the Melbourne carnival.

Last year Jameka was a prime example when winning the Caulfield Cup, and it seems that Bonneval is at least as well credentialed. Her breeding suggests she probably shouldn’t be winning races at 2400m (let alone 3200m) but her win in the ATC Oaks at a mile and a half suggested she would be able to cope with a lot more distance – and with Zabeel the sire of her Dam maybe his bloodline has come to the fore. History does tell us that the Australian and NZ horses don’t need a win beyond 2400m to triumph in the Cup.

What she probably won’t want is a weight penalty, after the allocation of weights next week, for that first Tuesday in November. That can be telling negative factor for a four year old mare, as was the case with Jameka last year after she won the Caulfield Cup.

The talk that there might not be a weight penalty allocated for the winner of the Caulfield Cup this year will be music to the ears of training partnership Murray Baker and Andrew Forsman. There are few better exponents of training a good stayer than this pairing, and Bonneval is deserving of a place at the top of betting markets.

At least one good judge has said there’s a bit of an Ethereal look about her.

Abbey Marie – 2nd
Strong finish for Abbey Marie, who was a great improver over her first-up performance in the PB Lawrence.

Jockey said: “She was terrific. She travelled into it nicely and I thought I probably had the winner at one stage and she has probably just peaked a little bit late. She’s got improvement to come so that’s really exciting from our standpoint.”

He’s Our Rokkii – 6th
Ended up as the leader of the race and then was affected by the riderless horse, so hard to get a bead on him from that run.

Jockey said: “It was a messy race and we probably didn’t expect to be the leader. We didn’t really want something in front of us that we didn’t really like and then we started to back them up and the empty (riderless) horse turned up and it disrupted the race. Forget he has gone around.”

Lizzie L’amour – 7th
First-up but something went amiss for her.

Jockey said: “There is something not right with her because she was working as well as, if not better than, the winner. She was under pressure pretty early and didn’t respond. She really didn’t hit the line well at all. We’ll see what the vet check shows up.”

(Note: Post-race reports of atrial fibrillation)

Sir Isaac Newton – 8th
First-up and went terrible. Tried to get into and but dropped way off.

Jockey said: “He came into the race down the side but he wouldn’t have gone 50 yards after that.”

(Note: Post-race reports of atrial fibrillation)

Star Exhibit – last
Reared at the start and lost the rider.

Lf Sign Group Hcp (2040m)

(Magnapal – 1st)
Foundry – 4th
Harlow Gold – 6th
Grey Lion – 7th
Foundation – 8th
Hans Holbein – 9th
Amralah – 11th
Darabad – 13th

This handicap over the Cox Plate distance saw plenty of Cup chances go around but not all of them impressed! Magnapal won the race at odds, but not entered for the Melbourne Cup, so we move on.

Foundry had the widest of all runs and finished off well to be fourth. Behind him, the four-year-old mare Harlow Gold didn’t have clear running to be sixth second-up, and found a few admirers who thought she might’ve won with clear running.

She finished just ahead of Grey Lion who had his chance but peaked on his run. Foundation got stuck for room and wasn’t able to finish off, while Hans Holbein was flat out disappointing.

Amralah was again up near the leaders but weakened out of it as he did last week. He was third-up and probably needs to lift to be a hope of much this spring. Darabad continues to forget how to race.

For Team Williams, Foundry was good, Hans Holbein was ok but Amralah doesn’t look to have come up this prep.

Opie Cup (1600m)

Stampede – 1st
Big Duke – 5th
Etymology – 7th
Raw Impulse – 8th
Boom Time – 9th
Settler’s Stone – 10th

The Opie Cup over the mile had a few Cup hopefuls, with the winner Stampede headed towards the Melbourne Cup. He was impressive under a big weight first-up. It’s a long way from the Wagga Cup to the Melbourne Cup, and he hasn’t raced beyond 2000m yet, but with Gai Waterhouse and Adrian Bott putting the polish on, we’re sure to see him try to prove himself.

Big Duke was impressive – he was last on the turn and put in a sustained run to be fourth, passing most of the field. He had the fastest last 400m and second fastest last 200m so connections will take encouragement from that.

Etymology and the rest really didn’t do much. I wanted to see battler Cup horse Settler’s Stone put in a big effort but he didn’t pass many.


Theo Marks Stakes (1300m)

Egg Tart – 2nd

She was a mile behind Deploy who burned the field with a track record, but this was well short of her best distance and it was a good return to the track for her.

Rydges Parramatta (Bm81) (1800m)

Chris Waller’s Alward was fourth as topweight, and was a bit flat despite a tip for him. He needs to progress through the grades rapidly and that wasn’t good enough.


R3Hyland Race Colours Bm82 (2500m)

Kellstorm – winner

This Darren Weir/OTI-Racing import is no mere thing – he is a full brother to Order Of St George, and looks to be able to stay all day. He’s won four from seven in Australia and the last three on the trot. This was a patient ride from Jockey John Allen. I’d be terribly amazed if he was given much weight on Tuesday so he’ll need to come through the grades and win something big enough to force his way into the field.

Ubet BM70 (1600m)

Night’s Watch – 6th
Didn’t do much as the short-priced favourite and that won’t help him get into the Cup as a moonshot.

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