Australia: Hayes bullish on Almoonqith chance
Almoonqith finished fourth in the Caulfield Cup
PICTURE: Dubai Racing Club Hayes bullish on Almoonqith Cup chance By Mark Scully in Australia 6:06PM 27 OCT 2016
CO-TRAINER David Hayes is in no mood to talk down the Melbourne Cup prospects of Almoonqith and says the six-year-old's work has been sparkling.
The import ran a fine fourth in the Caulfield Cup almost a fortnight ago with Racing Victoria's chief handicapper Greg Carpenter identifying him as the most eyecatching runner in that race with a view to the Melbourne Cup.
Speaking at an Aushorse event in Melbourne yesterday, Hayes said he believes Almoonqith, a general 16-1 chance, is coming right just in time for Tuesday's feature, having not had to be rushed earlier in the campaign.
"We've been blessed that he was already qualified for the race, which often you aren't, so I have been under absolutely no pressure from Sheikh Hamdan to have him ready in October like you normally have to do," Hayes explained.
"His work leading into the Caulfield Cup was just as you would have hoped and he ran the best sectionals in that race and probably should have run second [with more luck].
"He's a real live chance and his work yesterday morning was first class."
Newmarket raiders pose challenge
Among those taking on Almoonqith will be the Saeed Bin Suroor-trained pair Secret Number and Beautiful Romance, and Big Orange, also trained in Newmarket by Michael Bell.
Both Bin Suroor and Bell arrived in Melbourne yesterday and headed to Werribee to check up on their contenders.
Big Orange is expected to have a piece of fast work at the quarantine centre on Friday morning, as is the Aidan O'Brien-trained Bondi Beach.
Heartbreak City had been due to be partnered in a gallop by big-race rider Joao Moreira but a change to the Hong Kong-based jockey's plans mean that work will now take place on Saturday morning.