RESIGNED to almost certainly being without last season’s Melbourne Cup stars Rekindling and Johannes Vermeer, owner Lloyd Williams’ search for replacement spring firepower will turn to Flemington on Saturday.
Rekindling and Johannes Vermeer, last year’s Cup quinella, are unlikely to be seen until the end of the spring carnival — if at all — after suffering minor setbacks.
The pair’s absence means six-time Cup-winning owner Williams will now rely on familiar and unseen stock.
Sir Edwin Landseer, a Galileo four-year-old, is first emergency in the 2000m Allsop Handicap.
Exemplar, a lightly raced five-year-old who has been placed at Group 2 and 3 level in Ireland, is in the 1700m VRC Members Handicap.
Belgravia, who has form around Rekindling in Ireland, has been scratched from the same race.
Despite the likelihood of Rekindling and Caulfield and Melbourne Cup placegetter Johannes Vermeer both being absent until late in the carnival, Macedon Lodge still has enviable options.
There is a chance Irish Derby winner Latrobe, trained by Joseph O’Brien in Ireland, could fly the flag for Williams and his co-owners in either the Cox Plate or Melbourne Cup.
Almandin, the 2016 Cup winner, remains a chance to contest the Cup again. Williams’ trainer Liam Howley will saddle imports Kilimanjaro and Crocodile Rock in the 2500m O’Connell Handicap at Flemington on Saturday.
Rekindling (left) and Johannes Vermeer quinella last year’s Melbourne Cup for owner Lloyd Williams. Picture: Michael KleinSource:News Corp Australia
SUPER EFFORT CARRYING GRANDSTAND
WARRNAMBOOL trainer Patrick Ryan decision to back his judgment and run I’ll’ava’alf four days after he ran last at Sandown and with 74.5kg paid off when he won the 3450m Steeple at Warrnambool on Thursday.
Ryan reasoned that I’ll’Ava’Alf performed best at Warrnambool and on a heavy track.
He also said in Ireland, it was a common occurrence for jumpers to carry big weights and win.
I’ll’Ava’Alf was ridden by eligible rider Jarrod Lynch who continued his good recent run.
SADLER ENJOYS FIRST WIN OVER FENCES
FORMER successful apprentice Tom Sadler rode his first winner over the jumps when he won on Vysotsky.
As a flat rider Sadler rode 212 winners, but due to weight problems he’s added jumps riding to his repertoire.
Sadler was having only his eighth ride over the jumps and thanked Vysotsky’s trainer former star jumps rider Brett Scott for giving him the ride.
Sadler said he was still learning and Scott was doing him a favour putting him on.
Sadler said fellow riders Tom Ryan and Steven Pateman, Pateman’s partner Jess Barton, and jockey coach Ron Hall were helping him.
“I know it’s only a maiden but it means a great deal,” Sadler said.
“I’m very appreciative of everyone helping me along the way.”
Corey Brown will ride at Ascot in England this weekend. Picture: AAPSource:AAP
COREY HEADS TO ASCOT WITH FELLOW STARS
COREY Brown will join forces with Brazilian superstar Joao Moreira and Japanese legend Yutaka Take in Saturday’s Shergar Cup meeting at Ascot.
The dual Melbourne Cup-winning Brown features in the rest of the world team against three other outfits on a six-race program.
Europe will be captained by France’s Gerald Mosse, who will combine with German Andrasch Starke and Swede Per-Anders Graberg.
UK and Ireland will be represented by Fran Berry, Pat Cosgrave and Adam Kirby while the women’s team is Hayley Turner, Hollie Doyle and Josephine Gordon.
CAULFIELD CUP WINNER FUTURE UP IN AIR
JAMEKA’S future continues to hang in the balance after a mediocre trial at Cranbourne on Monday.
Ciaron Maher and David Eustace have decided to press on with the star mare’s preparation.
But there is no guarantee the triple Group 1 winner will return to the track,
Jameka hasn’t raced since contracting life-threatening travel sickness after her BMW victory in March, 2017.
CUMMINGS HAS FAITH IN ENGLISH IMPORT
JAMES Cummings believes his imported English sprinter Home Of The Brave has the necessary speed to be in the finish at his Australian debut in the Aurie’s Star Stakes at Flemington on Saturday.
The son of Starspangledbanner was a Group 3 winner last year in England and a Group 2 placegetter.
He has had two trials in the lead-up to his Australian debut and has been backed from $4.80 into $3.60 favourite to win on Saturday.
“While he’s had a solid preliminary foundation for this, he will no doubt show improvement through the run as he gets more accustomed to how races unfold here,” Cummings said.
Cummings described him as “a racy and sharp style of horse”.
MORONEY COPS $1000 FINE
MIKE Moroney was fined $1000 and his horse Equestria was disqualified as the winner of a Benchmark 64 event at Bendigo on March 4 by the Racing And Appeals Disciplinary Board on Saturday.
Moroney was found guilty of presenting Equestria to the races with the presence of Dexamethasone, a short acting corticosteroid, which was found in a post race urine sample.
Voodoo Lad takes out the Sir John Monash Stakes last month. Picture: Getty ImagesSource:Getty Images
$150,000 GROUP 3 AURIE’S STAR HANDICAP (1200M)
FLEMINGTON, SATURDAY 3.55PM
1 HOME OF THE BRAVE (2) James Cummings Damian Lane 59kg $3.60
2 VOODOO LAD (7) Darren Weir Damien Oliver 59kg $3.70
3 CHAMOIS ROAD (10) Patrick Payne Michael Dee 57.5kg $19
4 RICH CHARM (5) Scratched
5 I AM A STAR (4) Shane Nichols Mark Zahra 56.5kg $9
6 ABILITY (6) Henry Dwyer Dwayne Dunn 56kg $41
7 POETIC DREAM (9) D & B Hayes & T Dabernig Jordan Childs 54.5kg $4.40
8 CAMDUS (1) Darren Weir Ben Allen (a) 54kg $13
9 MAN FROM UNCLE (3) Darren Weir Harry Coffey 54kg $34
10 BRAVE SONG (8) Peter & Paul Snowden Regan Bayliss 54kg $5
HOME OF THE BRAVE
Godolphin sprinter who was a Group 3 winner at Newmarket, England, last year, defeating subsequent Al Quoz Stakes winner Jungle Cat. Then ran second at Group 2 level to Breton Rock at Goodwood. He’s trialled well for his first Australian start and has good form for this.
Produced withering closing sectionals to win the Sir John Monash Stakes before doing the same in the Bletchingly but this time running into Vega Magic. He’s finished second in a Newmarket Handicap over this track and distance and is up and running. Hard to beat.
Tough, dependable, underrated galloper facing his toughest test. Showed his will to win last start at Caulfield over 1400m. Third in this year’s Standish Handicap down the straight. Has fitness on his side.
I AM A STAR
Brilliant mare resuming. Fourth in this race last year when coming off a short break. This time she’s had a decent spell. Trialled well at Cranbourne on Monday and not out of it.
Flying at this time last year and partial to this track when trained by Robert Smerdon. Obviously has had issues since and has done little in two starts for Henry Dwyer. But wouldn’t think he’d be running here unless he was showing improvement.
Started a short-priced favourite at his Australian debut in March over 1400m but finished fifth. Looked awesome winning a recent Flemington jumpout with blinkers, which he will wear for the first time in a race.
Came from off the speed in slowly run race to win over this track and distance last start. Query at this level, but another who has fitness on his side.
MAN FROM UNCLE
Ran on well at his first start for Darren Weir over 1100m at Flemington. Just battled last start behind Camdus.
Sat off the speed and rallied hard to win over 1100m here last start against his own age. Drops 4kg and ran third to Kementari in the autumn.
Last year Hey Doc won first-up carrying 59kg. The race is usually won by a classy sprinter.
Slight query on the pace. HOME OF THE BRAVE and POETIC DREAM on their recent trials should push forward. CHAMOIS ROAD will use his fitness to take up a forward spot. VOODOO LAD should settle closer and stalk the speed.
Track: Good 3
Rail: Out 7m
Weather: Showers, 13C
Home Of The Brave
Originally published as Lloyd looks elsewhere as Cup stars hit roadblock