Co-trainer David Hayes is hopeful that Almoonqith can earn a place in the 2015 Melbourne Cup field after he recorded an impressive victory in the 2015 Geelong Cup this afternoon.
Almoonqith was settled in the second half of the field in the early stages of the Geelong Cup, but jockey James McDonald elected to get going a long way from home and he was able to effortlessly pull his way to be just behind the leaders at the top of the straight.
McDonald exposed Almoonqith at the top of the straight and he ran away from his rivals when asked for an extra effort to record a most impressive win from Dandino and Manndawi.
Hayes said after the race that Almoonqith had not had a great deal of luck in any of his race starts in Australia before the Geelong Cup, but the in-form trainer was delighted that the imported stayer had finally been able to replicate that form that he had produced in Dubai.
“He has always threatened and I have always said that he has the form of my Caulfield Cup winner Tawqeet,” Hayes said.
“He just keeps drawing the outside barrier and through no fault of Michael Walker we have been riding him cold.
“We decided to ride him a bit closer today because he is fit and he got the dream run.
“It was just a fantastic ride.
“I thought he might have gone a little bit early, but he knew what he was doing and he won really convincingly.
Almoonqith is currently 37th in the 2015 Melbourne Cup order of entry, but a penalty of a kilogram for his Geelong Cup victory would see him go close to earning a start in ‘the race that stops a nation’.
Hayes said that he is hopeful Almoonqith will receive a big enough penalty to be assured of a Melbourne Cup start and he confirmed that the Dynaformer entire will go straight into the Melbourne Cup if that is the case.
“He looked like a Melbourne Cup horse in the run,” Hayes said.
“If Mr Carpenter gives him the right penalty the answer will be yes.
“If he gets in the field he will go straight in.
“This has been a good guide in recent years and he has hit form at the right time.
“He has just stepped up and stepped up.”
McDonald was having his first ride on Almoonqith in the Geelong Cup after regular jockey Michael Walker was ruled out of contention due to injury and he was thrilled with the performance of the five-year-old.
The leading hoop said that Almoonqith took him whenever he needed to go in the run and he believes that the Geelong Cup winner will be even better suited if he gets the chance to step-up to 3200 metres for the 2015 Melbourne Cup.
“I had the horse underneath me and whenever I went he just towed me there,” McDonald said.
“Too much knowledge didn’t go into it and I was a nice pilot for the race.
“He travelled really well, but the thing that impressed me the most was his turn-of-foot.
“I let him go, he went very quick and sustained it right to the line.
“It was very impressive and The Metropolitan form is going to be pretty strong.”
Almoonqith has been backed into 2015 Melbourne Cup odds of $21 with Ladbrokes, while Fame Game ($4.60) remains a clear favourite from Mongolian Khan ($7.50), Trip To Paris ($7.50) and Preferment ($10).