The United States returned to winning form with an outstanding staying performance in the 2015 Moonee Valley Gold Cup, but he is no certainty to press on to the 2015 Melbourne Cup at Flemington on November 3.
The United States was settled in the second half of the field by jockey Hugh Bowman in the early stages of the Moonee Valley Gold Cup, while Michelle Payne elected to take up the running on Prince Of Penzance.
Prince Of Penzance kicked away from his rivals coming around the bend and looked to have stolen the race, but Bowman timed his run to perfection on The United States and he hit the front inside the final 50 metres to take out the Moonee Valley Gold Cup in track work record time.
Bowman admitted that he was worried Prince Of Penzance would prove impossible to run down in the final stages of the race, but he said that he was delighted with the way that The United States responded when he was asked for an extra effort.
“It is a privilege to ride their horses,” Bowman said.
“They always come turned out in magnificent order and this horse is no exception.
“I had a beautiful in transit and I was a bit worried when the sprint went on, but I was able to keep my composure and I was able to get the nice runs through.
“That was the difference between winning and losing.
“The only instructions I was given was that this is not a horse that can be making a long sustained run and I needed to hold him up for a turn-of-foot and he will give it to you.
“Although I was off the bit at the 400 metre mark, I could sense that he was going to give a bit and by that point I could also sense the leader was starting to tire.
“If he had kicked on in the straight I wouldn’t have caught him, but his run was ending and mine was just starting.”
The United States has not had a great deal of luck during his 2015 Spring Racing Carnival and co-owner Nick Williams was pleased that the Galileo entire was able to return to winning form in the Moonee Valley Cup.
The Group 1 Melbourne Cup has always been the major spring target for The United States, but Williams did not commit to sending the entire to the race as he believes he would need to win the Group 3 Lexus Stakes (2500m) at Flemington on Victoria Derby Day to earn a start.
“It was outstanding,” Williams said.
“The horse did well, it was an impressive win and we couldn’t be happier.
“He has had a bit of bad luck his last couple of runs and today he showed what he could do.
“The way that he put that race away was fantastic.
“We will get him home and see how he is.
“He would need to win the Lexus to get into the Melbourne Cup and it would be a huge ask to have three mile and a half plus runs in 12 days.
“We will just have to wait and see.”
Nash Rawiller fell over his mount Big Memory after the Moonee Valley Gold Cup field crossed the finish line, but he was able to walk away from the track and will still take the ride on Preferment in the Group 1 Cox Plate (2040m).
You can score the best odds on Cox Plate Day with Ladbrokes, who are offering Best Tote or Starting Price +20% for every single race at Moonee Valley this afternoon.