Ten stayers have been confirmed in the final field for Saturday’s 2016 Group 2 Moonee Valley Gold Cup (2500m), highlighted by the inclusion of a number of horses targeting this year’s Melbourne Cup.
Gallante returned to racing for a smart second in the Group 3 Naturalism Stakes (2000m) and should prove extremely tough to beat in the Moonee Valley Gold Cup from the ideal barrier 4, particularly with Kerrin McEvoy in the saddle.
Beginning his career under the guidance of leading French trainer Andre Fabre, Gallante has undoubtedly stepped up gear since being purchased by Macedon Lodge and is undoubtedly in career-best form this year.
Clearly requiring a run when eleventh in the Group 3 Carlyon Cup (1600m) first-up on February 13th, the Montjeu entire responded with a smart run for third in the Group 3 Manion Cup (2400m) before breaking through for a maiden win at the highest level in the Group 1 Sydney Cup (3200m) on Day 2 of The Championships.
Trainer Gai Waterhouse is particularly bullish in regards to Excess Knowledge’s form and the horse is offered a great opportunity to perform after drawing into the Moonee Valley Cup field in barrier 2.
Excess Knowledge was a standout performer for Waterhouse last spring; running second in each of the Listed Harry White Classic (2400m) and Group 2 Herbert Power Stakes (2400m) before winning the Group 3 Lexus Stakes (2500m) on protest.
Having ended his year a credible seventh in the Melbourne Cup, the Monsun entire took a couple of runs to find condition upon resuming this time, but was last seen placing third in the Group 3 The Bart Cummings (2500m) on October 2nd.
Vlad Duric will take the ride on Excess Knowledge in the Moonee Valley Gold Cup, who will carry only 56kgs.
Trainer John Sadler has been pleased with the condition of The Bandit and is confident that the gelding will perform well in the Moonee Valley Gold Cup.
A former Japanese galloper, The Bandit returned to racing this time for fourth in the United Refrigeration BM78 (1514m) on September 3rd, but failed to fire or beat a runner home in the Harry White Classic.
Having since placed fifth in the Moe Cup (2050m), the Empire Maker entire will leave from the ideal barrier 3 in the Moonee Valley Gold Cup with Craig Newitt in the saddle.
Master Zephyr has drawn into the Moonee Valley Gold Cup field on the rails, while the John Wheeler-trained Pentathlon has been charged with overcome the outside barrier 10.
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2016 Moonee Valley Gold Cup Field and Barrier Draw
|No||Last 10||Horse||Trainer||Jockey||Barrier||Weight||Hcp Rating|
|1||0069x031x2||GALLANTE (IRE)||Robert Hickmott||Kerrin McEvoy||4||58kg||108|
|2||08533×7269||GRAND MARSHAL (GB)||Chris Waller||Joao Moreira||6||58kg||106|
|3||90324×6527||WHO SHOT THEBARMAN (NZ)||Chris Waller||Hugh Bowman||9||57kg||109|
|4||217x20x983||EXCESS KNOWLEDGE (GB)||Gai Waterhouse & Adrian Bott||Vlad Duric||2||56kg||105|
|5||0x00915911||AUTHORITARIAN||Lee & Anthony Freedman||Daniel Moor||8||56kg||92|
|6||76144×3626||MASTER ZEPHYR (GB)||Darren Weir||Dwayne Dunn||1||55kg||87|
|7||x81642x475||THE BANDIT (JPN)||John Sadler||Craig Newitt||3||55kg||78|
|8||113254×067||PENTATHLON (NZ)||John Wheeler||Luke Nolen||10||55kg||98|
|9||213141x24x||SECOND WAVE (IRE)||Charlie Appleby||James McDonald||7||55kg||99|
|10||4×91259841||WHITE DOLLAR SIGN||John Thom||Ms Holly McKechnie||5||55kg||69|