Trainer Ciaron Maher is looking to step his...
The connections of Tuesday’s devastatingly close runner-up behind Almandin in the ‘race that stops a nation’, Heartbreak City, hope to return for a second shot in the Melbourne Cup 2017.
This year’s $6.2 million Group 1 Emirates Melbourne Cup (3200m) was a magnificent battle over the final 300m by two stayers from back in the field, the Lloyd Williams-owned Almandin and Tony Martin’s Irish raider Heartbreak City.
A two kilo weight advantage for the former proved enough to see Almandin at just his 12th career start head off fellow seven-year-old Heartbreak City, handing Williams his fifth ‘Loving Trophy’.
Heartbreak City was brave in defeat, given a perfectly timed ride by Brazilian hoop Joao Moreira from the second widest barrier (23) in the 24-starter Melbourne Cup field.
The ‘Magic Man’ worked his magic, putting Heartbreak City into a gun position from the awkward alley one off the fence inside of the favourite and eventual third-placed Hartnell.
Moreira stayed right in Hartnell’s wind speed, tracking him into the famous Flemington straight before peeling off and letting down from 400m out.
With 50 left to travel in the world’s richest handicap, Heartbreak City had his nose in front of the eventual Melbourne Cup winner before the brave last minute surge from Almandin who was able to wear down the visitor with the lighter weight.
It was the Lando gelding’s first run in Australia and the hurdler’s first run since winning the Ebor Handicap (2816m) in York by a barnstorming four lengths back on August 20, and Martin said in hindsight that run might not have been the ideal Melbourne Cup lead-up.
“Hindsight’s a wonderful thing, but the Ebor was a mile-and-a-six [furlongs, 2800m] and it might have been better if it was a mile-and-seven, a mile-and-six, but we’ve no complaints,” he told Racing Victoria.
“Six months ago or a year ago we never even dreamt to be here. It’s a great occasion and it’s great to be part of it.”
After the close Melbourne Cup result, Martin added that the team were hoping to return down under next Spring Carnival and go around again in the famous two mile classic.
“It’s agonising to be beaten so close, but what a place to come and hopefully we’ll be back next year.”
Futures Melbourne Cup betting is already open at Ladbrokes.com.au on the 2017 race to run on the first Tuesday of November, the defending champion Almandin the early $13 favourite.
Hartnell is the $15 second fancy, while Heartbreak City is at $21 equal with Yankee Rose.
David Vandyke’s All American filly was last seen running third behind Winx and Hartnell in the $3 million Group 1 W.S. Cox Plate (2040m).
She backs up on Thursday at Flemington taking on a field of fellow three-year-old fillies in the $1 million Group 1 Crown Oaks (2500m).
The latest Crown Oaks odds have her as the short-priced favourite at $1.65, Yankee Rose bringing into the field identical form to that of Samantha Miss who ran third in the Cox Plate before her Oaks win in 2008.
To back your early 2017 Melbourne Cup tips and get behind Yankee Rose in Crown Oaks betting this week head to Ladbrokes.com.au now!
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