The Godolphin team are now chasing a Melbourne Cup 2016 start on the first Tuesday of November with dour stayer Qewy who passed the first ballot clause for the ‘race that stops a nation’ with his all-the-way Geelong Cup win on Wednesday.
The $300,000 Group 3 Geelong Cup (2400m) looked to be lacking the class of recent years with just eight starters facing off in the mile and a half feature, but it could still produce a number of livewire chances for the world’s richest handicap on November 1.
Before the Geelong Cup results, the Charlie Appleby-trained British raider Qewy was equal 40th with a host of other as yet unqualified horses in the order of entry for the $6 million Group 1 Emirates Melbourne Cup (3200m).
He will now be chasing a penalty for the Geelong Cup win, currently on just 50kg in the Melbourne Cup weights, but with a high attrition rate for this year’s edition of the two mile classic he may still make the capacity 24-starter Melbourne Cup field.
The Geelong Cup was the first Australian start for the seven-year-old Street Cry gelding who was last seen running second in the Summer Stakes (2816m) at Goodwood in late July.
Melbourne Cup winning jockey on Brew (2000) 16 years ago Kerrin McEvoy had the Geelong Cup ride on Qewy who was one of two for Appleby in the race along with Oceanographer who ran on bravely from the back to cross third.
McEvoy went straight to the front on the eventual winner and turned the race into a genuine staying test, a move that proved the right one to make.
“I told Kerrin just go, he stays all day,” Godolphin stable representative James Ferguson said post-win.
“He’s given him a beautiful ride.”
Jockey Ben Melham meanwhile engaged different race tactics restraining the favourite, Sea The Stars five-year-old Oceanographer, so he settled second last in running.
That left Qewy up front leading with the Matt Cumani-trained French import Grey Lion and his hoop Katelyn Mallyon also pressing forward early to settle second.
The Mathew Ellerton & Simon Zahra-trained Lucques settled beautifully taking the sit in fourth just off the Chris Waller-trained expat Kinema who, from the inside alley, travelled nicely up on the fence in third.
McEvoy was happy up front on Qewy who set a nice strong gallop and gave his rivals something to chase home.
“James [Ferguson] and the team said get him mobile and get him into the race,” McEvoy said after the victory.
“I thought I’d just get out into a rhythm and make it into a bit of a [staying] test.
“Full credit to the horse, he lacks a quick change of gears, but he’s very genuine and honest and just keeps picking up.”
Approaching the turn Mallyon was pouring the pressure on the frontrunner with Grey Lion as Melham finally started his move on Oceanographer who came to the outside, still with plenty to do.
Grey Lion was throwing down the threat and Oceanographer was flashing late, but there was no catching Qewy with the toughest stayer winning from on pace throughout.
In the end Qewy won the Geelong Cup from Grey Lion with Oceanographer finishing off the trifecta, all three now a genuine chance of making the Melbourne Cup field.
“He was quite adamant he wanted to win my horse,” McEvoy said.
“Obviously he stays further and the [Melbourne] Cup is there now.
“I think he’s a good each way chance in that too.
“It’s exciting for Charlie [Appleby].”
Ferguson confirmed that if all went to plan and Qewy made the final 24 Melbourne Cup horses he’d be there chasing the big prize money on Melbourne Cup Day; out to complete the Geelong Cup – Melbourne Cup double recently achieved by French raiders Americain (2010) and Dunaden (2011).
“That’s the plan,” he said.
“We’ll see what happens but if he goes up enough [in weight] and if he gets in I’m sure he’ll run.
“That’s for the team at home to decide.
“It’s just brilliant.”
Check out the updated Melbourne Cup 2016 odds on Geelong Cup winner Qewy online now at Ladbrokes.com.au who is at $17 to win.
2016 Geelong Cup Results & Finishing Order
Geelong Race 7 – 19/10/2016
|1||5||QEWY (IRE)||Charlie Appleby||Kerrin McEvoy||–||6||54kg||$4|
|2||2||GREY LION (IRE)||Matt Cumani||Ms Katelyn Mallyon||0.2L||8||55kg||$6.50|
|3||9||OCEANOGRAPHER (GB)||Charlie Appleby||Ben Melham||0.95L||5||54kg||$2.90F|
|4||4||KINEMA (IRE)||Chris Waller||Craig Newitt||2.95L||1||54kg||$9.50|
|5||6||SWACADELIC (GER)||Aaron Purcell||Michael Walker||5.45L||7||54kg (cd 54.5kg)||$21|
|6||10||ALL I SURVEY||Pat Carey||Michael Dee (a)||5.55L||4||54kg||$16|
|7||7||LUCQUES||Mathew Ellerton & Simon Zahra||Damian Lane||6.3L||3||54kg||$6|
|8||11||WELLS||Kathryn Durden||Ben Allen (a)||13.3L||2||54kg||$41|
|–||1||WHO SHOT THEBARMAN (NZ)||Chris Waller||–||–||0||–||–|
|–||3||ARAB DAWN (GB)||John O’Shea||Dwayne Dunn||–||0||–||–|
|–||8||BLACK TOMAHAWK||Darren Weir||Craig Williams||–||0||–||–|