Last year’s Melbourne Cup runner up Max Dynamite is struggling to regain the form that saw him run second to Prince Of Penzance last November at Flemington.
Max Dynamite has raced twice since running second in the 2015 Group 1 $6m Emirates Melbourne Cup (3200m) and will get a chance to return to Australia if he performs well in the Group 2 £160,000 Lonsdale Cup (2 mile, 88 yards) at York, in England, on August 19.
The Willie Mullins trained Max Dynamite earned a trip to Melbourne last year when he won the Lonsdale Cup and flamboyant owner Rich Ricci is hoping for a repeat performance to secure his return ticket down under this year.
“I’d say we would give him time off, freshen him up and see how he is. If he performs well in the Lonsdale Cup, we will probably go back (to Melbourne),” Ricci said.
Max Dynamite resumed from a spell for a first up third to Pallasator in the Group 3 £65,000 Henry II Stakes (2 miles, 78 yards) on May 26 then ran tenth to Melbourne Cup favourite Order Of St George in the Group 1 £400,000 Gold Cup (2 mile 4 furlong) at Royal Ascot on June 16.
“He travelled really well (at Ascot). We went down the inside of the winner. It was a gamble. He might have been a bit too far back and I thought we might have been a bit handier,” Ricci said.
“That being said, Pat (Smullen) didn’t think he stayed. I don’t know if that is the case, but we will probably drop him back to two miles again. The Lonsdale Cup is the next stop I reckon.”
“You hate to think, as one can do sometimes, that last year was his day and that we are on a downward curve as his two runs have been disappointing.”
Mullins was in agreement with Ricci and said that Max Dynamite will have to improve on his last run if he is to earn another trip to Melbourne.
“I thought he ran well enough at Ascot last time but he didn’t stay the marathon trip,” Mullins said.
“York will be his next target but it all depends on how he comes along.
“The race might come too soon, and I do have another trip to Melbourne at the back of my mind but he isn’t in the same form as he was last year – yet!”
Max Dynamite still sits on the second line of betting for the 2016 Melbourne Cup at $17 with Ladbrokes.com.au who have the Aidan O’Brien trained Order Of St George as the $11 favourite.