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Fiumicino Chasing $3 million mark in Bendigo

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Veteran gelding Fiumicino will be out to join the $3 million club on Wednesday when he contests the Listed $250,000 Bendigo Cup (2400m).

The nine-year-old boasts a prize pool of $2.93 million but a win at Bendigo would see him receive $150,000 and pass the remarkable milestone.

Retirement is not far around the corner for the dual Group 1 winner but he showed the desire to still be a racehorse earlier this month when finishing fourth and less than half a length behind winner Crafty Irna in the Listed City Tattersalls Club Cup (2400m) at Randwick.

Trained by John Hawkes and sons Michael and Wayne, Fiumicino has won five of 37 starts with major scalps coming in the Group 1 AJC Derby (2400m) in 2007 and the Group 1 BMW (2400m) in 2009.

But he will have to overcome a worrying statistic if he is to reach the $3 million mark in Bendigo, with the son of Zabeel unplaced from 14 starts at left-handed tracks.

The only time Fiumicino has come close to running in the top three in Victoria was when he finished fifth in the 2009 Caulfield Cup.

He is one of 14 horses set to line up in the Bendigo feature, with Excluded and Spechenka the only runners remaining in Melbourne Cup acceptances.

But neither are likely to qualify, even on the back of a huge win in Bendigo, with Queensland gelding Spechenka (50.5kg) currently 39th in the order of entry and the Lloyd Williams-owned Excluded (50kg) 43rd.

Also in the Bendigo Cup field is fellow Williams’ gelding Practiced who will be out to continue his strong spring form which has seen him win two of four starts and finish runner-up on the other two occasions.

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