European import Ventura Storm will wear a set of winkers under race conditions for the first time in Tuesday’s Group 1 $6.25m Emirates Melbourne Cup (3200m) at Flemington.
The Linsday Park Team of David and Ben Hayes and Tom Dabernig have also been able to get Ventura Storm back to full fitness after the five year old developed a bruised heel after finishing thirteenth behind hiss stablemate Boom Time in the Group 1 $3.15m BMW Caulfield Cup (2400m) at Caulfield on October 21.
Head trainer David Hayes is willing to forget Ventura Storm’s run in the Caulfield Cup and said that he worked strongly on the Flemington course proper this morning with the winkers on alongside of Caulfield Cup winner Boom Time and is spot on for the Melbourne Cup next week.
“It was really good,” Hayes told Sky Racing’s HQ.
“I put the winkers on him. I nearly did in the Caulfield Cup but I have been working him in them ever since and it just helps these entires focus.”
“Ventura worked in winkers, Regan (Bayliss) rode him, his action was terrific. He trotted up very sound after the gallop so it is all looking good.”
“He hasn’t re-bruised his foot.”
“Ventura gave Boom Time about three lengths start at one point and he worked up to him and couldn’t get past Boom Time.”
Hayes said that Ventura Storm was showing no signs of lameness after getting his shoes re-adjusted and will be ridden in the Melbourne Cup by three times winner Glen Boss who got the call up after Regan Bayliss, who was booked to ride him, was suspended for carless at Bendigo on Wednesday and is out of the saddle until Saturday week.
“We have changed his shoeing around and that fixed it straight away. It took the pressure off of the heel,” Hayes said.
“He hasn’t missed any work since we re-shod him and he just found Caulfield with a bruised heel a bit firm. He is getting the winkers and he has been set for the Melbourne Cup right along
“He has had that run now and had a big gallop at Euroa, a big gallop on the course proper today, his recovery was excellent.”
“There are reasons to think he will improve out of sight.”
Ventura Storm, along with his stablemate Boom Time are both marked at $34 for the Melbourne Cup at Ladbrokes.com.au who has the Robert Hickmott trained Almandin as the $6.50 favourite to win back to back Melbourne Cups.
Early betting for the 2017 Melbourne Cup at Ladbrokes.com.au: $6.50 Almandin, $8.50 Humidor, Marmelo, $11 Johannes Vermeer, Red Cardinal, Wall Of Fire, $15 Rekindling, Max Dynamite, $17 Thomas Hobson, $21 Big Duke, Tiberian, Hartnell, $26 Amelie’s Star, Nakeeta, Qewy, Single Gaze, $34 Boom Time, Harlem, Bondi Beach, Ventura Storm, $41 Who Shot Thebarman, Jon Snow, Abbey Marie, US Army Ranger, Wicklow Brave, $61 or better the rest.