A four-year-old gelding by boom sire Zabeel, the Robert Hickmott-trained and Lloyd Williams-owned Vesper saluted as the $2.70 favourite in the $100,000 Listed Clamms Seafood Victoria Gold Cup (2000m) on the weekend.
Beating home Port Vell by a length with Down Under Boy a close third, Vesper is being prepared for this year’s Melbourne Cup showdown at Flemington on Tuesday, November 1.
Their success in the Cup on Saturday saw Vesper, purchased for $300,000, extend their career record to four wins from 11 starts for $162,050 in prize money.
Lloyd Williams’ son Nick hinted at their Melbourne Cup plans for Vesper post-race.
“Whether he is up to the Melbourne Cup only time will tell, but he’s certainly one of those four-year-olds we have in the stable that is on the up,” he said.
In other Melbourne Cup news, last year’s runner-up and one of the early favourites for this year’s famous ‘two-mile’ showdown Maluckyday is set to resume racing in the Group 1 Chipping Norton Stakes (1600m) this Saturday March 5.
Maluckyday was originally scheduled to run first-up in the Futurity Stakes on Blue Diamond Stakes Day last Saturday but was not paid up for at acceptance stage.
The genuine stayer is one of 15 stars nominated for the Chipping Norton Stakes, running at Warwick Farm on Saturday along with defending champion Theseo and Caulfield Cup winner Descarado.
As the 2011 Melbourne Cup field takes shape and new contenders for the world’s richest handicap emerge, Races.com.au will continue to provide the best Melbourne Cup coverage this year.
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Photo courtesy (c) Taron Clarke Photography