Australian Thoroughbred

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Weir into Melbourne Cup with Amelie’s Star

Andrew Eddy

7 October, 2017

Darren Weir may have lost his strong grip on the Caulfield Cup following the poor Turnbull Stakes run of Humidor but the champion trainer soon firmed up his chances of a Melbourne Cup win when stayer Amelie’s Star won a spot in next month’s $6.3 million race via her Bart Cummings win at Flemington.

But as Amelie’s Star is well down on the list of Caulfield Cup nominations, Weir has some work to do to find the right race for the Testa Rossa mare before her ultimate test back at Flemington.

‘’We tried to get her into the Caulfield Cup (via the Naturalism Stakes) but that just goes to show how important barriers can be,’’ Weir explained.

‘’In the Naturalism, she was forced to go back from the wide gate and made great ground late but was never a winning chance while today she could take up a good position and it made all the difference at the end.’’

If Amelie’s Star is beaten by the ballot in the Caulfield Cup, the horse is likely to be kept a week later for the Moonee Valley Cup – the race Weir’s only Melbourne Cup winner Prince Of Penzance came through in his 2015 triumph.

On Saturday, jockey Damian Lane quickly made the most of barrier two and had Amelie’s Star sitting fourth for much of Saturday’s 2500-metre trip. Once the field had turned for home, Amelie’s Star got serious and put the race to bed quickly with a well-timed sprint.

After being backed late from $5.50 to $4.60, Amelie’s Star overran the Lloyd Williams-owned outsider Granddukeoftuscany ($91), who led up and dared his rivals to run past him. It was expected Amelie’s Star and most of the field would do so as well, but only the winner could get by the lowly-rated import.

Co-owner Nick Williams said fourth-placed Almandin was ‘okay’ but a decision on his Caulfield Cup position was still to be made.

Others to fall into the okay category were Tally ($16 to $11), who enjoyed a soft on-pace run but yielded quickly in the straight and Harlem ($4.40), who was a pair further back than Tally and only finished marginally in front of him.

Weir also finished third in the event when Kellstorm, the brother to the Ascot Gold Cup winner Order  Of St George managed to run into third place after running on well from back in the field.

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