Deane Lester has Almoonqith on top of his 2015 Melbourne Cup tips and the leading form analyst believes that the Geelong Cup winner is terrific value to take out the $6 million event at Flemington this afternoon.
Almoonqith made a slow start to his 2015 Spring Racing Carnival campaign, but he hit the line strongly from the tail of the field in both the Group 3 Naturalism Stakes (2000m) at Caulfield on September 19 and the Group 1 The Metropolitan (2400m) at Royal Randwick on October 3 before he recorded a very soft victory in the Group 3 Geelong Cup (2400m) on October 21.
Lester believes that Almoonqith has had the perfect preparation for the 2015 Melbourne Cup and he told RSN that he has to have respect for a horse that beat Dandino in such empathic fashion at his last start.
“I would have nearly been tipping Dandino in the Caulfield Cup at a mile and a half,” Lester said.
“He didn’t get a start in it and he ended up at Geelong.
“More to the point about Almoonqith is that it has been a Spring of what could have been.
“I think if he had drawn well he would have won the Naturalism and he would never have gone to Sydney and he would have been on a Caulfield Cup path.
“He didn’t have a hard run in the Naturalism – they rode him back from the draw -, he didn’t have a hard run in The Metropolitan because they rode him back from the draw and in the Geelong Cup the last 200 metres James McDonald didn’t hurt him and I thought he cruised to the line.
“I thought that it was a really good win and I think that the preparation has just come together.
“He will stay and I think he has a great winning chance.
“I think he can win the Cup and he is terrific odds.”
While Lester has Almoonqith on top of his 2015 Melbourne Cup tips, Lester admits that there are a number of winning chances in ‘the race that stops a nation’ and he believes that Japanese stayer Fame Game as well as Turnbull Stakes winner Preferment are the main dangers to Almoonqith in ‘the race that stops a nation’.
“Fame Game is the danger,” Lester said.
“I don’t think he will be ridden a lot different to Caulfield because he needs to be held up for that late run.
“He has got a great surge and I think he will run well.
“Preferment was running into the race in the Cox Plate, but then he hit the slow part of the track and it was a total forgive run.”
Almoonqith is currently available at 2015 Melbourne Cup odds of $18 with Ladbrokes, while Fame Game ($5) remains a narrow favourite from Trip To Paris ($7.50) and Preferment ($10).
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