The latest Melbourne Cup lead-up race will run at Flemington this Saturday with a smart field of stayers engaged for the 2012 The Bart Cummings.
Due to jump at 2:20pm as Flemington Race 4 the $120,000 Listed The Bart Cummings (2520m) winner will pass the first ballot clause for the $6.2 million Group 1 Emirates Melbourne Cup (3200m) run back at the track on the first Tuesday of November.
This year The Bart Cummings field features 15 horses with evergreen 2007 Melbourne Cup winner Efficient to wear the number one saddlecloth.
Drawn in gate three with Eddie Cassar to ride the nine-year-old Zabeel gelding resumed on September 8 with a first-up 10th to Southern Speed in the Group 2 Makybe Diva Stakes (1600m) but should relish getting up to 2520m on Saturday.
Efficient’s trainer Robert Hickmott and owner Lloyd Williams will also be represented in The Bart Cummings 2012 by Galileo four-year-old Seville (barrier six) coming off a credible fifth in the Naturalism Stakes and six-year-old Tanby (barrier seven) who was last seen running fourth in the JRA Stakes over this distance at Moonee Valley on September 15.
All but one of this year’s The Bart Cummings acceptors are still entered for the 2012 Melbourne Cup, the best fancied of which are Efficient ($41) and Maluckyday ($26).
The Hawkes-trained Zabeel gelding Maluckyday ran a brave second to Americain in the Melbourne Cup two years ago but has been out of form of late most recently running 11th to Ocean Park in the Group 1 Underwood Stakes (1800m) at Caulfield two weeks ago.
Other notable 2012 The Bart Cummings hopefuls include the Michael Moroney-trained Ipswich Cup – Caloundra Cup winner Shenzhou Steeds, Naturalism Stakes third placegetter Exceptionally, and Lloyd Kennewell’s Adelaide Cup winner Rialya.
Meanwhile Pat Carey’s Ansett Classic winner at Mornington last Saturday Dame Claire is the only last-start winner in The Bart Cummings this year.
The Danehill Dancer mare posted her sixth career win in the feature carrying 58kg and is sure to appreciate the drop back to 54kg under the quality handicap conditions of Saturday’s showdown.
Dame Claire is also a winner of Flemington’s other two mile race having taken out the Listed Andrew Ramsden Stakes (3200m) back in May, great form for her weekend assignment according to Carey.
“She’s now won two listed staying races with 57.5kg and 58kg and gets into this one with 54kg on Saturday. It’s hard to pass up,” he said.
“She’s in form and she goes better at Flemington than anywhere.
“You might as well strike while the iron is hot. If she’s handy and travelling at the half mile (800m) they’ll have a bit work to do to catch her.”
The full field, barriers, jockeys and weights for The Bart Cummings 2012 are listed in the table below.
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2012 The Bart Cummings Final Field & Barrier Draw
Flemington Race 4 – 2:20pm – 06/10/2012
|#||Form (Last 10)||Horse||Trainer||Jockey||Br.||Wgt.||Hcp. Rating|
|1||860x9052x0||EFFICIENT (NZ)||Robert Hickmott||Eddie Cassar||3||60kg||111|
|2||2x447x8x80||MALUCKYDAY (NZ)||Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes||Dwayne Dunn||14||59kg||108|
|3||2234x94x05||SEVILLE (GER)||Robert Hickmott||Nicholas Hall||6||58kg||106|
|4||69x6908x90||UNUSUAL SUSPECT (USA)||Michael Kent||Brad Rawiller||10||57kg||104|
|5||5x91611x64||SHENZHOU STEEDS (NZ)||Michael Moroney||Eddie Wilkinson||13||55.5kg||101|
|6||221x0x0484||TANBY||Robert Hickmott||Damien Oliver||7||55.5kg||101|
|7||855121×079||RIALYA||Lloyd Kennewell||Vlad Duric||4||54.5kg||99|
|8||0x00021x23||EXCEPTIONALLY (NZ)||Terry & Karina O’Sullivan||Dean Yendall||5||54kg||98|
|9||x25130x500||NORSQUI||Walter McShane||Darren Gauci||8||54kg||98|
|10||6430115081||DAME CLAIRE (NZ)||Pat Carey||Peter Mertens||9||54kg||95|
|11||311410×700||SINGLE MINDED (NZ)||Graham Richardson||Jake Noonan (a)||11||54kg||95|
|12||18x0526x02||I’M JAKE (NZ)||David Brideoake & David Feek||Ben Melham||2||54kg||91|
|13||x5618272x0||MAYTHEHORSEBEMAGIC (NZ)||Michael Moroney||Chris Munce||1||54kg||89|
|14||L0x2133632||SKY RAIDER||Tony McEvoy||Glen Boss||12||54kg||89|
|15||12184×0059||UNCHAIN MY HEART||David Hayes||Michael Walker||15||54kg||86|