A number of the top-fancied mares to take out...
Avilius secured ballot-exempt entry into the 2018 Melbourne Cup with a narrow win in The Bart Cummings at Flemington this afternoon.
Harrison took up the running in the early stages of The Bart Cummings and he ensured that the race was run at a genuine tempo, while Glyn Schofield was able to settle Avilius in a lovely position on the rail.
Schofield angled out Avilius at the top of the straight and he looked as though he would record a comfortable win, but Lindsay Park-trained Jaameh went with him and it was an epic battle in the concluding stages.
Jaameh looked as though he may have his rivals measure, but Avilius kept on fighting and the Godolphin import was able to record a very narrow win.
There was definite contact between Jaameh and Avilius in the concluding stages of the race and co-trainer David Hayes elected to lodge a protest.
Jockey Michael Walker and Hayes argued the case for Jaameh in the stewards room and there were some nervous moments for Godolphin, but the protest was eventually dismissed and Avilius maintained his place in the Melbourne Cup.
Cummings made the controversial decision to bypass The Metropolitan with Avilius in order to chase Melbourne Cup ballot-exemption in The Bart Cummings and he was delighted that his decision had paid off.
“Today was about getting a run in the Melbourne Cup, now we can follow a path that we feel is best suited to the horse and not be chasing our tail with him,” Cummings said.
“We have options on the table and we will let the dust settle and I am sure the boys and I will come up with a good plan.”
“I am excited to have a horse in the Cup and it is a very special moment.”
“He has had a great few months with us since arriving off the plane.
“We have been patient with the horse all along.
“We tend to go for the small fish when they are there but there was a whale on the horizon if we could get an exemption in winning this race.
“He sat a lot closer than he has been in a lot of his runs here in Australia, but he still out knocked one to the line, which we thought was the horse to beat and a terrifically.
Avilius is now into $10 in the 2018 Melbourne Cup betting market with Ladbrokes.com.au!
Racing fields and data are copyright 2011-2018 © Racing Australia Pty Ltd (RA) (and other parties working with it).
Racing materials, including fields, form and results, is subject to copyright which is owned by RA and other parties working with it. Full copyright notice.