2018 Australian Cup for Mornington Cup Prelude Winner Homesman

February 24, 2018

2018 Australian Cup for Mornington Cup Prelude Winner Homesman

It was a Lloyd Williams-trained quinella in the first on Blue Diamond Stakes Day with European import Homesman defeating his Melbourne Cup winning stablemate Almandin on debut down under ahead of a possible rematch in the Australian Cup 2018. PHot

Homesman (inside)

Homesman (inside) beat stablemate Almandin (outside) in an all Lloyd Williams-owned 2018 Mornington Cup Prelude quinella on Blue Diamond Day. Photo: Ultimate Racing Photos.

Purchased as a long-term Melbourne Cup prospect by Team Williams, War Front four-year-old Homesman made an immediate impact in his maiden Australian run at Caulfield Racecourse in the Listed $120,000 Ladbrokes Mornington Cup (2000m).

“He’d shown some good form over a mile and a half at Royal Ascot….we’re encouraged he might be a promising horse going forward,” part-owner Nick Williams said post-win.

It was the fellow Liam Howley-trained Almandin who was all the rage first-up with the punters, the 2016 Melbourne Cup champion returning after a Sandown Classic second last November.

After trailing midfield in sixth out wide throughout, the Damien Oliver-ridden Monsun eight-year-old Almandin cruised up to the outside of the frontrunners on the home straight and moved into the clear.

Carrying the 60kg top weight, the class stayer looked like he would get there digging in to move up to the leader Homesman who hit the front at the 350m around the turn ahead of the Gai Waterhouse & Adrian Bott-trained Cismontane.

The two Macedon Lodge runners went stride-for-stride over the final furlong, Almandin doing the chasing on the outside, but with the lighter weight it was Homesman ($7.50) in an upset by a short half-head, with the Lindsay Park-trained seven-year-old Golden Mane ($11) finishing third for the third time on the trot.

“Credit to the horse, he’s a lovely horse,” winning jockey Ben Melham said after the race.

“He’s a different horse with the blinkers on, it really switched him on.

“A tremendous effort to hold off a class horse like Almandin.”

Williams was thrilled with both horses and said Homesman could now join Almandin at Flemington on Super Saturday, March 10, in the Group 1 $1.5 million Australian Cup (2000m).

“Couldn’t be happier, both the jockeys gave great rides,” he said.

“The two horses went particularly well first-up.

“It’s very exciting, maybe he [Homesman] might join Almandin in the Australian Cup. We’ll just wait and see on that.

“They’ve both got plenty of improvement in them so today’s a great kick off with them.”

All-in Australian Cup odds at Ladbrokes.com.au currently list Almandin at $9 and the Mornington Cup Prelude winner Homesman has firmed into $13.

Check out the full 2018 Australian Cup odds on the potential runners now at Ladbrokes.com.au.

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