Lindsay Park co-trainer David Hayes is expecting Almoonqith to bounce back after a disappointing Melbourne Cup result when he tackles the ‘two miles’ again in the Listed $150,000 Sandown Cup (3200m) at Sandown on Saturday.
Hayes said that Almoonqith struck trouble in the straight the first time in the Group 1 $6m Emirates Melbourne Cup (3200m) at Flemington last Tuesday week and was pushed back towards the tail of the field, virtually giving the import no chance of reeling in the leaders in a slowly run race ad finished in eighteenth spot.
“They ran almost seven seconds outside the record and he was last, so he was no hope,” Hayes told the Herald Sun.
“It was very disappointing. I pictured him being fifth or sixth in the run.”
“He had an absolute no-run in the Melbourne Cup … it wasn’t a gut-buster this year.”
Almoonqith showed some good staying potential with a win over 2800m in Dubai in the Group 3 US$200,000 Nad Al Sheba Trophy (2800m) at Meydan on February 28 at the beginning of 2015.
And the six year old reproduced that form with a one and three quarter lengths win over Zipping Classic favourite Dandino in the Group 3 $300,000 Geelong Cup (2400m) at Geelong on October 21 with James McDonald in the saddle prior to running in the Melbourne Cup.
Jockey Michael Walker is back aboard Almoonqith after riding stablemate Criterion into third place in the Melbourne Cup.
Walker was aboard Almoonqith for two of his early Spring Carnival runs for a sixth to Magnapal in the Group 3 $150,000 Naturalism Stakes (2000m) at Caulfield on September 19 followed by a seventh to Magic Hurricane in the Group 1 $750,000 McGrath Estate Agents Metropolitan (2400m) at Randwick on October 3.
Almoonqith hasn’t fared well in the barrier drew and will need plenty of luck from barrier fourteen in the fifteen horse Sandown Cup field.
Ladbrokes.com.au have installed Almoonqith as the $4.80 favourite for the Sandown Cup ahead of the topweight The Offer and De Little Engine at $5.50 with Kiwi stayer Maygrove and Sydney Cup winner Grand Marshall sharing the next line of betting at $7.50.
Sandown Cup market order at Ladbrokes.com.au: $4.80 Almoonqith, $5.50 The Offer, De Little Engine, $7.50 Grand Marshall, Maygrove, $15 Like A Carousel, $17 Tremec, $19 Sasenkile, $21 Renew, $26 Manalapan, Pop ‘N’ Scotch, $51 Precedence, $61 Planet Purple, Cuban Fighter, $101 Refectory.