Veteran hoop Jim Byrne will chase a fourth...
A track downgrade to a Heavy 9 this morning has thrown the Melbourne Cup market into chaos, as plenty of punters continue to search for runners with proven wet form.
The Lindsay Park stable has just one hopeful in this year’s Cup, six-year old gelding Ventura Storm. The Irish raider won its last start in the Group 2 Moonee Valley Cup (2500m), although trainer David Hayes seems a little on the fence about his chances on the sticky surface.
“I think he’s won a couple of races on an English Soft 2, but most of his races in Australia have been on Good” Hayes told RSN this morning.
Ventura Storm attacked the line strongly to win the Moonee Valley Cup, beating home Trap For Fools by a short half head. He set the track record that day in a time of 2 minutes 34.37 seconds, but Hayes admits he was hoping for a firmer track at Flemington today.
“I think he’s adaptable on both, but I would’be loved for it to have been firm, because it might’ve check-mated a few of the English horses.”
Ventura Storm is among the 11 international raiders out to win the Cup this year, and you can have him for $34 with Ladbrokes. He’s drawn barrier 7 with jockey Mark Zahra on board, a similar gate to the one Ventura Storm won from at The Valley a fortnight ago.
“I’d expect him to be in a similar position, Mark rode a perfect race at Moonee Valley, if he can be in a forward position with a little bit of cover, you couldn’t ask for more. He’s got the gate to do that and the tactical speed” Hayes went on to say.
Zahra rode Bella Rosa to a win in the first race of the day, and noted how poor the track conditions were. Similar to Hayes, he too was hoping for a firmer surface foe Ventura Storm today.
“He’s got a bit of wet track form, to be honest I was hoping it was going to be firm just to take a few of the others out, but at least he’ll handle it and we’ll get a nice run, so that’s all we can do” Zahra said.
Ventura Storm has had six runs on a soft surface, good for a 2-0-1 record. He finished 10th in the same conditions during the Caulfield Cup (2400m) two starts ago.
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