A talented field of stayers will face off in The Bart Cummings 2016 at Flemington Racecourse on Sunday including Almoonqith carrying equal top weight in the Turnbull Stakes Day clash.
Set to run as Flemington Race 5 at 2:35pm (AEDT) as part of a bumper nine-event program, this year’s $300,000 Group 3 The Bart Cummings (2500m) has attracted a final field of 12 runners.
Weights for the quality handicap clash are topped by the Lindsay Park-trained Almoonqith and Excess Knowledge for Gai Waterhouse & Adrian Bott on 58kg, the duo drawn in barriers two and three respectively.
Michael Walker rides Dynaformer seven-year-old Almoonqith back-to-back after being aboard the veteran stallion for his last start 14th behind Group 1 winning mare Jameka at Caulfield in the Group 3 Naturalism Stakes (2000m) a fortnight back.
Fifth in the Group 1 Sydney Cup (3200m) over the two miles back in April, the dour stayer won last October’s Group 3 Geelong Cup (2400m) and had no luck for his 18th to Prince Of Penzance in the Group 1 Melbourne Cup (3200m) next start.
He also saluted in the Listed Sandown Cup (3200m) last November and third-up over the extra metres on Sunday could be nearing his best.
Excess Knowledge ran seventh in the Melbourne Cup last spring and is a fellow seven-year-old stallion, the imported son of Monsun having won over this track / distance when qualifying for the ‘race that stops a nation’ when taking out the Group 3 Lexus Stakes (2500m) last VRC Derby Day.
The only other two final acceptors weighted above the 54kg minimum in The Bart Cummings this Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival are the Robert Hickmott-trained German import Almandin and Pentathlon for John Wheeler both on 55kg.
Gun Victorian hoop Damien Oliver rides the Lloyd Williams-owned Monsun seven-year-old Almandin again on the quick turnaround after success aboard the gelding last Saturday at Caulfield in the Listed Harry White Classic (2400m).
The horse gets in on the same kilos on the weekend and the stable are tracking towards a possible 2016 Melbourne Cup run if the galloper proves his worth for the world’s richest handicap.
Hickmott has also accepted for Aloft in The Bart Cummings field, Kerrin McEvoy replacing Oliver aboard the Galileo five-year-old who debuted in Australia on September 3 running third to Killarney Kid over 2040m at Moonee Valley.
Pentathlon meanwhile is yet to race down under, the Pentire five-year-old debuting for his new trainer having come over from New Zealand where he is a dual winner over Sunday’s distance.
Lee & Anthony Freedman run their former German-trained Group 2 winner Shimrano on the back-up from last weekend, the Monsun stallion having finished fifth to Almandin in the Harry White Classic.
Other notably hopes include yet another German import Swacadelic who ran fifth in the Adelaide Cup back in March and last start winner at the track / distance over Black Tomahawk Lucques.
See below for the complete The Bart Cummings 2016 field, barriers, jockeys and weights then lock in your favourites across the weekend at the right price through Ladbrokes.com.au.
2016 The Bart Cummings Final Field & Barrier Draw
Flemington Race 5 (2:35pm) – 02/10/2016
|#||Form (Last 10)||Horse||Trainer||Jockey||Br.||Wgt.||Hcp. Rating|
|1||01x9065x80||ALMOONQITH (USA)||David & B Hayes & T Dabernig||Michael Walker||2||58kg||105|
|2||2217x20x98||EXCESS KNOWLEDGE (GB)||Gai Waterhouse & Adrian Bott||Mark Zahra||3||58kg||105|
|3||1x221x6651||ALMANDIN (GER)||Robert Hickmott||Damien Oliver||5||55kg||99|
|4||1113254×06||PENTATHLON (NZ)||John Wheeler||TBA||1||55kg||99|
|5||x2110x0x05||SHIMRANO (GER)||Lee & Anthony Freedman||Dwayne Dunn||12||54kg||95|
|6||157134×640||SWACADELIC (GER)||Aaron Purcell||Chris Parnham||7||54kg||94|
|7||x0071x0700||ZANTECA (NZ)||Darren Weir||Craig Williams||11||54kg||93|
|8||212x1x7x3||ALOFT (IRE)||Robert Hickmott||Kerrin McEvoy||6||54kg||90|
|9||41340×6541||LUCQUES||Mathew Ellerton & Simon Zahra||Damian Lane||10||54kg||89|
|10||324210×852||DANDY GENT||Terry & Karina O’Sullivan||Luke Currie||8||54kg||88|
|11||70x044x690||PINSTRIPE LANE (NZ)||Leon & Troy Corstens||Daniel Stackhouse||4||54kg||85|
|12||x2x1145x52||VENGEUR MASQUE (IRE)||Michael Moroney||Patrick Moloney||9||54kg||78|