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Co-trainer David Hayes for Lindsay Park is hoping to see another of the stable’s nice staying types earn a possible 2015 Melbourne Cup bid with Bold Sniper running in the Moonee Valley Gold Cup this weekend.
On Wednesday Hayes along with his nephew and co-trainer Tom Dabernig enjoyed success with classy import Almoonqith winning the Group 3 Geelong Cup (2400m).
Almoonqith is now a $17 chance in futures markets at Ladbrokes.com.au, who are running Best Tote or SP + 20% markets on the entire Cox Plate Day card at Moonee Valley on Saturday, for the $6.2 million Group 1 Emirates Melbourne Cup (3200m) at Flemington on November 3.
He copped a 1kg penalty for his Geelong Cup win, a race that produced back-to-back Melbourne Cup winners with French raiders Americain (2010) and Dunaden (2011) both completing the double, and has moved up to 27th on the Melbourne Cup order of entry with 53kg.
Stablemate Bold Sniper meanwhile is well down the Melbourne Cup ballot in 65th spot with only 50kg, the Queen Elizabeth II-owned import needing a big win in Saturday’s $250,000 Group 2 Moonee Valley Gold Cup (2500m) and subsequent penalty to be any shot of making the capacity 24-starer field for the ‘race that stops a nation’.
Unsurprisingly the New Approach six-year-old is a $201 roughie shot in futures Melbourne Cup odds at Ladbrokes, led by the Japanese-trained Fame Game ($4.60) who ran sixth on debut down under in last weekend’s Group 1 Caulfield Cup (2400m).
Hayes, who has saddled-up a total of 21 Melbourne Cup runners since 1983 for just the one third place finish to date, isn’t giving up hope with Bold Sniper however who beat home his subsequent Geelong Cup winning stablemate when the duo finished fourth and sixth respectively behind Magnapal in the Group 3 Naturalism Stakes (2000m) on September 19.
After that things went amiss at Flemington on October 4 when Bold Sniper could only manage to beat home one rival crossing over 15 lengths away 15th to Let’s Make Adeal, ruled out of the MV Gold Cup and Melbourne Cup with a tendon injury, in the Group 3 The Bart Cummings (2520m).
Now connections are hoping the horse can bounce back as a $10 chance this weekend when Bold Sniper jumps from barrier six of 10 in the Moonee Valley Gold Cup with Geelong Cup winning hoop James McDonald taking over for Chris Parnham in the saddle.
“It was only one run further back that he beat Almoonqith, surging to the line in the Naturalism, when he also beat Lee’s (Freedman) horse Our Ivanhowe (who went on to run third in the Caulfield Cup) and was probably the run of the race,” Hayes told Racing Victoria.
“Then he bombed out at Flemington, but a few things went wrong there. He worked hard on the first bend and he just started hanging.
“If he doesn’t hang on the weekend and handles the Valley like he handled Caulfield he should be very competitive.
“It’s hard to be confident after the shocker he ran the other day but we’ve tested him everywhere and I can assure you if I didn’t think he’d run well for that owner I wouldn’t be running it.”
If Bold Sniper fails to earn a Melbourne Cup call-up Hayes confirmed plans to target the aptly-named $300,000 Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2600m) on Emirates Stakes Day, November 7, on the final day of the Melbourne Cup Carnival.
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