The Darren Weir-trained Amelie’s Star has earned a ticket into the $6 million Melbourne Cup with victory in the Group Three Bart Cummings at Flemington.
Saturday’s 2500m race carried with it a ballot exemption into the 2017 Melbourne Cup for the winner and Amelie’s Star ($4.60) strode to a two-length win in a field which included last year’s Cup winner Almandin.
Almandin ($2.20) settled back in the field under his 60kg and didn’t show the same acceleration he did last start when powering away to win the Listed JRA Trophy over the same course and distance.
The eight-year-old finished fourth, almost 3-1/2 lengths from Amelie’s Star, but remains Melbourne Cup favourite at $7 having drifted from $6.
“He just didn’t let down like he did the other day,” Almandin’s jockey Damien Oliver said.
Granddukeoftuscany ($91) rolled along out in front and stuck on to finish second with Kellstorm ($51) running on for third, another short head away.
Weir said a good barrier draw helped Amelie’s Star settle in a good position in fourth on the rail before the mare chimed in strongly early in the straight before going on to score.
Amelie’s Star had flashed home for fourth in the Naturalism Stakes last start when trying to secure a Caulfield Cup ballot exemption.
“At Caulfield last start she drew wide and we had to go back and just got into an impossible position,” Weir said.
“It was just the way we had to ride her.
“Today she drew a good barrier, got the perfect run and got the result.”
Weir said he would now have to map out the rest of Amelie’s Star’s spring path and was unsure where she would run next.
“She’s had a beautiful preparation,” Weir said.