Jockey Michael Walker is confident that classy import Almoonqith will be in prime condition by the time he reaches his major Spring Carnival target; the 2016 Melbourne Cup (3200m) at Flemington on the first Tuesday of November.
Almoonqith was set for the Melbourne Cup during the 2015 edition of the Spring Carnival, and after savaging the line for success in the Group 3 Geelong Cup (2400m), was unable to match the late pace of Prince Of Penzance in the Flemington feature, finishing eighteenth.
Walker missed the ride on Almoonqith when he finished fifth in the Group 1 Sydney Cup (3200m) in autumn, but told Racing Victoria he is pleased to be re-sparking his affiliation with the Dynaformer entire from a Tatura barrier trial on Tuesday.
“Aim is obviously the Melbourne Cup again, so I’d like to go to the trials and get a feel of him, and just make sure he is spot on,” Walker said.
“He’s got a good long campaign ahead of him, and he’s a horse that for his first couple of runs, he’s always big in condition being a stallion.
“I’ve galloped him, and I rode him in a jump out at Flemington, and he just plodded around.
“He’s still very big in condition, but it’s not until the first Tuesday in November, so I don’t want him rock hard fit yet.
“Unfortunately I missed riding him in the Sydney Cup [last autumn] due to injury.
“He’s come up really well, he feels good. If anything he’s bigger and stronger so I’m looking forward to him.
“He’s a cool horse, I love riding him.”
Almoonqith has posted six wins and a further four minors through twenty-seven career starts, since debuting to racing in France in 2012.
Transferred to the care of the Middle-East-based Mike De Kock at the conclusion of 2013, Almoonqith produced a number of impressive performance at black type level; winning the Group 3 Nad Al Sheeba Trophy (2810m) most notably.
Ending his maiden Australian campaign in 2015 with success in the Listed Sandown Cup (3200m), the stallion out of Bohemian Lady ran ninth in the Group 2 Peter Young Stakes (1800m) first-up this year; progressing to tenth in the Group 1 Australian Cup (2000m) and sixth in the Group 1 The BMW (2400m) in his only other start prior to the Sydney Cup.
Almoonqith is currently available at early 2016 Melbourne Cup odds of $41 with leading online bookie Ladbrokes.com.au.