The countdown to the Sydney Spring Racing...
Irish horseman William Mullins is eyeing a 2017 Melbourne Cup bid down under this spring with his veteran stayer Thomas Hobson after the galloper’s Ascot Stakes win in England this week.
The seven-year-old son of Halling lined-up in the Royal Ascot feature as the 4/1 favourite and, despite being held-up at the back of the straight, didn’t disappoint getting to the line ahead of Endless Acres (2nd) and Who Dares Wins (3rd).
Jockey Ryan Moore never lost his calm demeanour, getting his mount into the clear in the dying stages after a weaving run through the field for a late win that Mullins praised.
“Ryan was just super on him, wasn’t he? He obviously had a clock working in his head today. It’s fantastic,” the now three-time Ascot Stakes winning trainer told The Sun.
“To have a winner at a Festival like this is magic, as good as Cheltenham any day of the week.”
Moore said that once he started reeling in his rivals, he gained confidence he was on the best stayer in the race.
“They went a strong pace and I just let him warm into it,” he said.
“I was always confident I was going to pick them up and through Swinley Bottom I could see them slowing down and I just wanted a clear run.
“He’s won very easily, like all Willie’s horses when they come here and you know they are going to stay.”
Having showed his dour staying abilities in the 3822m Ascot Stakes win, there’s a big chance Thomas Hobson will be Australian bound this Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival targeting the ‘race that stops a nation’.
“I think we’d like to go to Melbourne [Cup] with him, that’s the end game,” Mullins said.
The $6.2 million Emirates Melbourne Cup (3200m) steals the spring show at Flemington on Tuesday November 7, 2017.
Mullins has saddled-up four Melbourne Cup starters over the years, his best result in the two mile classic being a second with his Lonsdale Cup winner Max Dynamite who was a half-length beaten by the $101 roughie Prince Of Penzance in 2015.
Moore meanwhile has been in the saddle of five Melbourne Cup horses including his winning ride aboard the German-trained Protectionist in 2014.
Andreas Wohler prepared Protectionist for his win in the world’s richest handicap and currently has the early favourite in futures Melbourne Cup betting at Ladbrokes.com.au with Red Cardinal ($15).
Red Cardinal flew into Melbourne Cup calculations with a June 9 win in the Group 3 Invitational Stakes (3219m) at Belmont Park.
To check out the full all-in Melbourne Cup odds before nominations close at midday on Tuesday August 29, head to Ladbrokes.com.au now.
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