Top line Melbourne jockey Dwayne Dunn will be chasing his first win in the Group 1 $6m Emirates Melbourne Cup (3200m) at Flemington on Tuesday on the Lindsay Park trained import Almoonqith.
Dunn has ridden in the ‘Race That Stops The Nation’ on nine occasions with his best finishing effort being seventh on both Skybeau in 1997 and on Araldo last year.
Almoonqith came into Melbourne Cup calculations with a last start dominant win in the Group 3 $300,000 Geelong Cup (2400m) at Geelong on October 21 with James McDonald in the saddle.
McDonald is the number one rider for the powerful Godolphin stable in Australia and was required to ride Hartnell on Tuesday , leaving the way for Dunn to pick up the ride on the David Hayes and Tom Dabernig trained Almoonqith.
“This would be the icing on the cake if I could get this horse over the line. It’s every jockey’s dream to be able to win one,” Dunn told AAP.
“I’m just really happy to be involved and be able to ride in a Melbourne Cup. I’ve sat on the other side of the fence and you’re disappointed when you haven’t got a ride in the race.”
Dunn thought he had great chance of winning the Melbourne Cup in 2006 on the David Hayes trained Tawqeet after they combined to win the Group 1 $600,000 Metropolitan (2400m) at Randwick and the Group 1 $2.5m Caulfield Cup (2400m) at Caulfield prior to heading to Flemington.
But the $6 equal favourite was no match for the Japanese trained stayers Delta Blues and Pop Rock who quinelled the race with Tawqeet only capable of beating four runners home.
“Tawqeet won the Metropolitan, won the Caulfield Cup and was then favourite in the Melbourne Cup,” Dunn said.
“Obviously he had an issue and he couldn’t fulfil the dream for us that year. So hopefully this is payback.”
Dunn thinks that Almoonqith could be over the odds at $16 with Ladbrokes.com.au and is very hopeful that he will be in the finish at the end of the gruelling 3200m.
“The horse is in a really good place. He’s very happy and he’s improved since the run the other day,” Dunn said.
“He’s a little bit of a forgotten horse because everyone starts talking about the internationals. But I’m really pleased to be on him. I reckon he’s going to run a great race.”
The Hayes and Dabernig team will saddle up the well performed Criterion who is racing is top form since returning from an unsuccessful campaign in England.
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At his first run on Australian soil after returning from overseas Criterion was able to win the Group 1 $400,000 Ladbrokes Caulfield Stakes (2000m) at Caulfield on October 10 and followed that up with a second to Winx in the Group 1 $3m Cox Plate (2040m) at Moonee Valley on October 24.
Criterion is marked is solid at $15 with Melbourne based Kiwi jockey Michael Walker to ride.
Melbourne Cup market order with Ladbrokes.com.au: $4 Fame Game, $9 Trip To Paris, $10 Preferment, $14 Max Dynamite, Criterion, $16 Almoonqith, $19 The United States, $21 Who Shot Thebarman, Bondi Beach, Our Ivanhowe, $26 Excess Knowledge, Red Cadeuax, Kingfisher,$31 Hartnell, $34 Grand Marshall, Gust Of Wind, $41 Snow Sky, The Offer, Sky Hunter, Hokko Brave, $51 Big Orange, $81 Prince Of Penzance, $101 Quest For More, $201 Sertorius.
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