Hard luck story of this year’s Melbourne Cup, the Robert Hickmott-trained Amralah is one of the headline nominations taken for Saturday’s Emirates Stakes 2015 on the last day of the Melbourne Cup Carnival.
One of two elite levels held at Flemington on November 7, this year’s $1 million Group 1 Emirates Stakes (1600m) attracted 26 nominations including two Robert Hickmott-trained, Team Williams-owned hopefuls.
Makybe Diva Stakes winner first-up back in September Fawkner has his shot at a sixth win from 10 starts over the mile at a track and distance the Reset eight-year-old has a gun record over (5-2-3-0).
Stablemate Amralah meanwhile goes into the Emirates Stakes field as ‘Plan B’ after the Teofilo stallion was forced out of calculations for Tuesday’s $6.2 million Group 1 Emirates Melbourne Cup (3200m) over the two miles.
The imported six-year-old looked on track for his run in the ‘race that stops a nation’ after defeating subsequent Lexus Stakes winner Excess Knowledge by three lengths in Caulfield’s Group 2 Herbert Power Stakes (2400m) on October 10.
After what connections called “negligent” veterinary treatment, owner Lloyd Williams was robbed of a second runner in the Melbourne Cup field to join his Moonee Valley Gold Cup winner The United States who is a $20 chance through Ladbrokes.com.au.
A host of other last start winners feature in the Emirates Stakes nominations this year including Coronation Shallan who took out Moonee Valley’s Group 3 Tesio Stakes (1600m) on Cox Plate Day, Murray Baker’s in-form New Zealand visitor Turn Me Loose, flying mare Politeness and Disposition.
Iffraaj four-year-old Turn Me Loose won the Seymour Cup before his Group 2 Crystal Mile (1600m) win by a half-length on October 24 before his Group 1 bid.
If successful for the Cambridge-based Baker it will be a nice consolation prize after his Caulfield Cup winner Mongolian Khan was ruled out of the Melbourne Cup due to a bout of colic.
Politeness is one of just four mares nominated for the Emirates this year, the last to win and beat home the boys being Divine Madonna (2006) nine years ago for Melbourne Cup winning trainer Mark Kavanagh.
She is undefeated this campaign, Robert Smerdon’s daughter of Street Sense winning all three of her spring starts including her upset as a $17 hope on Victoria Derby Day in the Group 1 Myer Classic (1600m).
Disposition meanwhile is set to sit at the top of the Emirates Stakes odds at Ladbrokes.com.au, home of the biggest ever Melbourne Cup Giveaway with over $70,000 in prize up for grabs on Tuesday, after the former WA galloper’s top lead-up.
Second in both the Group 1 Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes (1400m) and the Group 1 Toorak Handicap (1600m) at Caulfield, the now Lee & Anthony Freedman-trained Reset four-year-old was last seen winning the Group 3 Chatham Stakes (1400m) at Flemington just last Saturday.
Adelaide’s Phillip Stokes will shoot for back-to-back Emirates Stakes wins should he accept with his in-form visitor Defiant Angel who hasn’t raced in Melbourne since July last year after the trainer’s success with Hucklebuck (2014) last year.
Other notable Emirates Stakes entries include Crystal Mile runner-up Bow Creek, Gai Waterhouse’s Epsom Handicap second to Winx in Sydney over the mile Eucador and Darren Weir’s Toorak Handicap winner Lucky Hussler last seen finishing third in the Crystal Mile.
The 2015 Emirates Stakes field and barriers are out on Wednesday so stay tuned.
In the meantime head to Ladbrokes.com.au and deposit just $50 quoting the code BONUS150 to enjoy an extra $150 in bonuses for your Spring Carnival punting!
2015 Emirates Stakes Nominations
Flemington Racecourse – 07/11/2015
|#||Form (Last 10)||Horse||Sex||Age||Trainer||Hcp. Rating|
|2||211x0x0171||AMRALAH (IRE)||H||6||Robert Hickmott||107|
|3||15x23112x0||AROD (IRE)||H||5||Peter Chapple-Hyam||113|
|4||2311x6x6x2||BOW CREEK (IRE)||H||5||John O’Shea||108|
|5||662313×431||CORONATION SHALLAN||M||6||Brett Scott||95|
|6||2x21142x81||DEFIANT ANGEL||G||6||Phillip Stokes||89|
|7||30×4850441||DESERT JEUNEY||G||6||Nigel Blackiston||100|
|8||22x24x1221||DISPOSITION||G||4||Lee & Anthony Freedman||107|
|9||x2614x2426||ECUADOR (NZ)||G||6||Gai Waterhouse||105|
|11||111x8x5241||HE OR SHE||G||5||David Hayes & Tom Dabernig||94|
|13||12789×2727||JACQUINOT BAY||G||8||David Hayes & Tom Dabernig||100|
|14||2x167x4613||LUCKY HUSSLER||G||6||Darren Weir||114|
|15||424x1255x4||MAGIC ARTIST (IRE)||H||5||Andreas Wohler||106|
|16||348x0x4324||MAY’S DREAM||M||5||Darren Weir||101|
|17||299×538348||MESSENE||G||7||Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes||105|
|18||80429×0074||MORIARTY (IRE)||G||8||Chris Waller||105|
|19||7202×36460||NINTH LEGION||G||6||Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes||102|
|21||1x827x5752||ROCK STURDY||H||5||Joseph Pride||102|
|25||412311×238||SONS OF JOHN||G||5||Jason Attard||103|
|26||x2131x6211||TURN ME LOOSE (NZ)||H||4||Murray Baker||110|