The two high-profile Melbourne Cup candidates from prolific owner Lloyd Williams have finished last and second-last at Flemington on Saturday in the $100,000 Listed Henry Bucks Straight Six, as Williams expected them to do.
Stablemates and well credentialed Irish imports Alandi and Mourayan ran 13th and 14th respectively in the Straight Six over the unsuitable distance of 1200m, as Williams and new trainer Robert Hickmott used the race to acclimatise the stayers to the Australian conditions and the Flemington track where they will hopefully star in the 2010 Melbourne Cup.
It was the first time five-year-old Alandi, from boom sire Galileo, raced over a distance lesser than 2414m. In his last start the well-performing stayer won the Group 1 Prix Du Caran in Paris over the testing distance of 4000m in his third successive Group 1 victory, so the 3200m of the Melbourne Cup will be a breeze.
The dynamic duo’s result has not hampered their Melbourne Cup chances in the slightest. They have both already passed the ballot for the November 3 race and are assured of a start in the Melbourne Cup provided no health issues arise in the meantime.
Three years ago Williams trialled Efficient in the same race, the stunning grey Zabeel gelding finished a well-beaten 13th before reappearing in the spring to secure the 2007 Melbourne Cup in style. He ran in the Straight Six again last year in preparation for a second Cup run, but a later injury prevented Efficient from competing.
Williams is hoping for a similar result to Efficient’s in 2007 from his recruits this year.
The Henry Bucks Straight Six was won by the hot favourite, Mark Kavanagh’s super consistent sprinter Catapulted.
Meanwhile another Melbourne Cup hopeful, Hissing Sid, missed an opportunity to move up the ballot for the world’s richest handicap when he was scratched from the Listed Andrew Ramsden Stakes (3200m) at the same meeting due to the unsuitable conditions.
The improving galloper is a likely starter in the $300,000 Group 2 Brisbane Cup (2400m) at Eagle Farm on June 12.
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