Almoonqith is currently available at 2015 Geelong Cup odds of $14, but co-trainer David Hayes is confident that the imported stayer is ready to run a big race in the Group 3 event at Geelong this afternoon.
Almoonqith was sent to Australia after he finished a credible sixth behind Brown Panther in the Group 2 Dubai Gold Cup (3200m) at Meydan on March 28 and he made his Australian racing debut with a credible fifth in the Sweeney Estate Agents Handicap (1500m) at Moonee Valley on August 22 and he was fairly flat at the same venue on September 5.
The Dynaformer entire produced an improved performance when he finished a close sixth in the Group 3 Naturalism Stakes (2000m) at Caulfield on September 19 and he had no luck in running whatsoever in the Group 1 The Metropolitan (2400m) at Royal Randwick on October 3.
Hayes believes that Almoonqith has not had a great deal of luck in any of his race starts since arriving in Australia, but he is confident that the five-year-old will give the 2015 Geelong Cup a shake if he is able to slot in and find a forward position in the early stages of the race.
“He just can’t draw a barrier, but now that he has had a run at a mile and a half we probably won’t drag him back to last,” Hayes told RSN.
“Hopefully he can slot in in the middle with a bit of cover and if he gets that he will take a lot of beating.
“As it turns out with the slow sectionals of The Metrop, it was just a forget he went around run.
“We went back from the barrier and as it turned out we probably should have gone forward.
“His Naturalism run was stronger than the Lee Freedman horse who ran third in the Caulfield Cup (Our Ivanhowe) and you know that his best is very good.
“I would say that his prime distance is a mile and a half to two miles and he has only just got to his prime distance now.
“I think if he runs a great race at Geelong he is going to be a factor in anything he runs in from here, but he needs to step-up and will need to get a pretty clever ride today.”
Almoonqith is currently available at 2015 Geelong Cup odds of $14 with Ladbrokes, while Dandino ($3.30) remains a clear favourite from Quest For More ($4.80), Guardini ($8), Bonfire ($10) and Orbec ($11).
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