Winner of the 2007 Melbourne Cup, evergreen nine-year-old Efficient will continue with their sixth Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival campaign running in The Bart Cummings 2012 at Flemington Racecourse on Saturday.
Run at the same track as the world famous $6.2 million Group 1 Emirates Melbourne Cup (3200m) on the first Tuesday of November, the $120,000 Listed The Bart Cummings (2520m) may not be one of the most prestigious events on the spring calendar, but for Melbourne Cup 2012 bound gallopers it is certainly one of the more crucial.
A total of 25 stayers make up the The Bart Cummings nominations this year, all but the Tony McEvoy-trained Sky Raider also still in 2012 Melbourne Cup contention, the early entries led by the Lloyd Williams-owned 60kg top-weight Efficient.
The son of Zabeel, runner-up to Niwot in the Group 1 Sydney Cup (3200m) in April, resumed this season with a disappointing first-up 10th beating home just one other runner in the Group 2 Makybe Diva Stakes (1600m) at Flemington on September 8.
They are however tipped to improve second-up over a far more suitable 2500-metres.
Williams and trainer Robert Hickmott have also nominated for Midas Touch, Seville, last year’s Geelong Cup runner-up behind subsequent Melbourne Cup winner Dunaden Tanby and High Chaparral gelding Excluded who finished a below par eighth as the beaten favourite in last Friday night’s Group 3 JRA Cup (2040m) at Moonee Valley.
The shortest-priced of The Bart Cummings nominees in the latest Melbourne Cup odds at bookmaker.com.au meanwhile is the Michael, Wayne and John Hawkes-trained Maluckyday ($26).
Runner-up to Americain in the 2010 Melbourne Cup, Maluckyday ran a distant second-up 11th to Cox Plate fancy Ocean Park in the Group 1 Underwood Stakes (1800m) last start but is still well liked to improve by Melbourne Cup Day.
Team Hawkes have also entered Sydney Cup winner Niwot who ran second behind Mourayan in The Bart Cummings 12 months ago before going on to run eighth to Dunaden as the best finishing of the Australian-bred and trained horses in the Melbourne Cup.
Maluckyday and Niwot are also both nominated for the $500,000 Group Turnbull Stakes (2000m) at the meeting where, if accepted, they could face the likes of current Caulfield Cup favourite December Draw and defending Caulfield Cup winner Southern Speed.
Other notable 2012 The Bart Cummings nominations include consistent JRA Cup runner-up Dance With Her, the Michael Moroney-trained Shenzhou Steeds last seen running fourth to Folding Gear in the Group 3 Naturalism Stakes (2000m) at Caulfield, Adelaide Cup winner Rialya and Naturalism Stakes third placed Exceptionally.
Check out the full The Bart Cummings 2012 nominations and weights in the table below.
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2012 The Bart Cummings Nominations
Flemington Racecourse – 06/10/0212
|1||EFFICIENT (NZ)||Robert Hickmott||1||60kg||111|
|2||MALUCKYDAY (NZ)||Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes||2||59kg||108|
|3||NIWOT||Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes||3||59kg||108|
|4||MIDAS TOUCH (GB)||Robert Hickmott||4||58.5kg||107|
|5||SEVILLE (GER)||Robert Hickmott||5||58kg||106|
|6||UNUSUAL SUSPECT (USA)||Michael Kent||6||57kg||104|
|7||SHENZHOU STEEDS (NZ)||Michael Moroney||8||55.5kg||101|
|9||DANCE WITH HER||David Brideoake & David Feek||7||54.5kg||103|
|11||ANUDJAWUN (NZ)||Shaun Dwyer||21||54kg||89|
|12||BUDAI (GER)||David Hayes||19||54kg||90|
|13||BUXTED (IRE)||Sam Pritchard-Gordon||16||54kg||95|
|14||DAME CLAIRE (NZ)||Pat Carey||14||54kg||95|
|15||ERUPTIOUS (NZ)||Michael Kent||24||54kg||85|
|16||EXCEPTIONALLY (NZ)||Terry & Karina O’Sullivan||11||54kg||98|
|17||EXCLUDED (NZ)||Robert Hickmott||13||54kg||97|
|18||FICTIONAL ACCOUNT (IRE)||David Hayes||17||54kg||95|
|19||I’M JAKE (NZ)||David Brideoake & David Feek||18||54kg||91|
|20||MAYTHEHORSEBEMAGIC (NZ)||Michael Moroney||22||54kg||89|
|22||RED EYE SPECIAL (NZ)||Michael Moroney||25||54kg||82|
|23||SINGLE MINDED (NZ)||Graham Richardson||15||54kg||95|
|24||SKY RAIDER||Tony McEvoy||20||54kg||89|
|25||UNCHAIN MY HEART||David Hayes||23||54kg||86|