The Darren Weir-trained stayer Leica Ding has won the Geelong Cup today by a long neck ahead of the Bart Cummings-trained Dandaad, with the well-backed New Zealand raider Sterling Prince third.
Jockey Danny Nikolic was aboard Leica Ding for her last-stride win, his second of the day as he pulled off a remarkable double with another brilliant ride in the Geelong Classic. He took out the Geelong Classic (2406m) with three-year-old Southern Skye from Newcastle, now booked in for a Victoria Derby start.
Five-year-old Leica Ding’s Geelong Cup victory was also the second win at the meeting for trainer Darren Weir who took out the first race of the day with Martindale Hall.
After starting wide, Nikolic eased Leica Ding to the back before putting the chestnut mare on pace with 600m left to go.
The victory has remarkably improved her chance of a Melbourne Cup start as she has now won 6 of her 17 career starts and the victory passes the first balloting clause for the Flemington race. Currently weighted at just 50kg for the Melbourne Cup, Leica Ding will need quite a large penalty from Racing Victoria’s chief handicapper Greg Carpenter.
Fancied British stayer Basaltico, Luca Cumani’s last chance at a Melbourne Cup entrant, went unplaced in the race failing to secure back-to-back Geelong Cup victory for the international trainer who won last year with Bauer. Basaltico dropped out of contention early on in the event, finishing more than 20 lengths behind the winner.