Phillip Stokes’ Sir John Monash Stakes winning...
Darren Weir’s Melbourne Cup-bound stayer Big Duke is one of the standout gallopers nominated for a Ladbrokes Cox Plate Day run in Saturday’s Moonee Valley Gold Cup 2017.
A key support act on the card dominated by Winx vying for a third Cox Plate trophy, this season’s Group 2 $300,000 Moonee Valley Gold Cup (2500m) has attracted 21 entries.
Among the Moonee Valley Gold Cup nominees are a host of long distance horses eyeing a run at Flemington on November 7 in the Group 1 $6.2 million Melbourne Cup (3200m) including Big Duke.
Weir won the Melbourne Cup with 101/1 roughie Prince Of Penzance in 2015 and could have a livewire chance in the ‘race that stops a nation’ this spring in his six-year-old son of Raven’s Pass Big Duke.
The gelding ran second in the Group 1 The Metropolitan (2400m) two back before his eye-catching $500,000 St. Leger (2600m) win at Randwick on The Everest Day on October 14.
He now heads back to Melbourne for the Moonee Valley Gold Cup looking to improve on his current quote of $21 in futures Melbourne Cup odds at Ladbrokes.com.au.
The shortest-priced of the Moonee Valley Gold Cup nominations in pre-field Melbourne Cup betting at $17 is the William Mullins-trained Irish raider Max Dynamite.
The now eight-year-old was runner-up in the 2015 Melbourne Cup behind Weir’s shock champion and is set to return to Australian racing o the weekend having his first start since a 3419m win in late August at Killarney.
Two horses backing-up for a run in last weekend’s Group 1 Caulfield Cup (2400m) behind 50/1 winner Boom Time also feature in the Moonee Valley Gold Cup entries: Abbey Marie (6th) and Harlem (8th).
Michael Kent’s mare Abbey Marie is a $34 Melbourne Cup shot after she dead heated for sixth in the Caulfield Cup with the late flyer and new favourite for the ‘race that stops a nation’ Marmelo.
Harlem meanwhile had a luckless run for his eighth behind successful stablemate Boom Time and could get the chance to atone on the quick back-up this weekend.
Chris Waller of Winx fame is dually represented in the Moonee Valley Cup nominations this spring by 2016 Sydney Cup runner Libran coming off a St. Leger fifth to Big Duke and Who Shot Thebarman.
Evergreen nine-year-old Who Shot Thebarman is both a Sydney and Melbourne Cup placegetter and is out to go one better than his second in the Moonee Valley Gold Cup behind Grand Marshal last year.
Other standout entries include St. Leger runner-up Auvray who has run top two in his four latest starts in Sydney, Scott Brunton’s last start Moe Cup winner Count Da Vinci from Tasmania, and Charlie Appleby’s British raider Qewy who won the Geelong Cup at this time last year before a Melbourne Cup fourth and subsequent Sandown Cup success.
2017 Moonee Valley Gold Cup Nominations
Moonee Valley Racecourse – 28/10/2017
|#||Form (Last 10)||Horse||Sex||Age||Trainer||Hcp. Rating|
|1||8400×72586||ABBEY MARIE||M||5||Michael Kent||102|
|2||135104×085||ANNUS MIRABILIS (IRE)||G||7||Stuart Webb||100|
|3||5008641212||AUVRAY (FR)||G||7||Richard Freedman||102|
|4||1113×55021||BIG DUKE (IRE)||G||6||Darren Weir||108|
|5||2×23252103||CISMONTANE (NZ)||G||5||Gai Waterhouse & Adrian Bott||90|
|6||25223×5416||COOL CHAP||G||5||David & B Hayes & T Dabernig||97|
|7||1212x8x341||COUNT DA VINCI (NZ)||G||7||Scott Brunton||97|
|8||55×8321414||FROZEN ASSET (NZ)||M||5||Martin Stein||59|
|9||x031x270x0||GALLANTE (IRE)||G||7||Robert Hickmott||101|
|10||4x386x5158||HARLEM (GB)||H||6||David & B Hayes & T Dabernig||103|
|11||8746Px6165||LIBRAN (IRE)||G||7||Chris Waller||107|
|12||151021×760||LIZZIE L’AMOUR (NZ)||M||5||Murray Baker & Andrew Forsman||104|
|13||1x2x30x91x||MAX DYNAMITE (FR)||G||8||William Mullins||107|
|15||x97860x049||PENTATHLON (NZ)||G||6||John Wheeler||93|
|16||22x141x40x||QEWY (IRE)||G||8||Charlie Appleby||105|
|17||0910×00234||SLY ROMANCE (NZ)||G||6||Richard Laming||78|
|18||0092361232||SUDDEN MOMENT||G||7||Ron Daniel||61|
|19||82x542x998||VENGEUR MASQUE (IRE)||G||6||Michael Moroney||89|
|21||x3642x9449||WHO SHOT THEBARMAN (NZ)||G||9||Chris Waller||107|
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