This Tuesday Victoria’s leading trainer Peter Moody will be dually represented in the 2012 Melbourne Cup field, and while one of his hopefuls is a triple-figure runner, the chances of Lights Of Heaven winning the classic are much higher.
Moody’s hit-and-miss import Voila Ici is a $151 roughie in the markets for the $6.2 million Group 1 Emirates Melbourne Cup (3200m) this year, but his in-form Zabeel mare Lights Of Heaven is much higher up the Melbourne Cup odds paying $19.
A Group 1 winner as a three-year-old, the now five-year-old Lights Of Heaven has been in excellent form over the past month or so most recently catching the eye when coming within a length and a quarter to finish third to defending Melbourne Cup winner Dunaden in the Group 1 Caulfield Cup (2400m).
So can she improve on that and go one or two better when she steps up to the 3200m for the first time in Flemington Race 7 at 3:00pm (AEST) on Tuesday?
#19 Lights Of Heaven – Horse Form
- Barrier: 17
- Jockey: Luke Nolen
- Trainer: Peter Moody
- Owners: Mrs J M Wanless
- Age: 5YO
- Gender: Mare
- Breeding: by Zabeel (NZ) out of Volksraad (GB) mare I’m In Heaven (NZ)
- Career: 18-6-3-3
- Win: 33.33%
- Place: 66.67%
- Last 6: 110933
- Prize Money: $1,193,688
- Track: 2-0-0-0
- Distance: 0-0-0-0
- Current 2012 Melbourne Cup: $19
Evidence FOR an Upset Melbourne Cup 2012 Result from Lights Of Heaven
- Comes off a slashing third to defending Melbourne Cup champ #1 Duanden ($7.50) in the Caulfield Cup
- Could she have gone closer if she had more distance to catch them?
- Is a Group 1 winner as a 3YO in the Schweppes Oaks last year
- Dual Cups winner having taken out the Eagle Farm – Brisbane Cup double during the winter
- She may not have raced over the two miles yet but the breeding suggests Lights Of Heaven can get the distance
- Five-year-olds boast the best record of any age group in the cup with 44 wins, the most recent of which was Viewed (2008)
- She may be the only mare in this year’s Melbourne Cup field but recent history is in favour of mares who have won five of the past Melbourne Cups – although that figure is inflated by Makybe Diva’s three straight wins (2003-05)
Evidence AGAINST Lights Of Heaven Winning the 2012 Melbourne Cup
- Has drawn wide in barrier 17 and will have to be at her best from that gate as only four Melbourne Cup winners have jumped from gate 17 – the most recent of which was At Talaq (1986)
- Faces a really tough field of internationally-trained and bred stars including last year’s Melbourne Cup Quinella of Duanden and Red Cadeaux
- Neither trainer Peter Moody nor jockey Luke Nolen has won a Melbourne Cup before
- Nolen has had six Melbourne Cup rides for one second Maluckyday (2010) and was aboard Shamrocker (21st) last year
- Has had two starts at the Flemington track but failed to finish in the money, most recently was her dead last finish in the Mackinnon Stakes last spring
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