Almoonqith starts Cups tilt at Caulfield

Almoonqith will spearhead the Lindsay Park team for the big spring Cups with the imported stayer ready to begin his campaign.

The seven-year-old is set to line up in the Listed Heatherlie Handicap (1700m) on Saturday.

Tom Dabernig, who trains in partnership with David and Ben Hayes, said Almoonqith was their leading contender for the Caulfield and Melbourne Cups.

“We are a little shallow in the staying ranks,” Dabernig said.

“We’ve got some contenders in three-year-old ranks and hopefully along the way some of the older horses will also step up.”

Almoonqith won the Geelong Cup last October at his fourth Australian start before finishing 18th in the Melbourne Cup.

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He then came out and proved superior in the Sandown Cup over 3200m last November.

He had four starts during the autumn and was spelled after running fifth to Gallante in the Sydney Cup in April.

Dabernig said they had not settled on a program towards the Cups with his first-up performance to help determine his campaign path.

“He’ll probably need the outing on Saturday but it is the start of a long campaign,” Dabernig said.

“But his preparation so far has been solid but just where we head after Saturday is open-ended at this stage.”

Almoonqith has been working solidly in preparation for his return and chased home Alpine Eagle in a trial over 1400m at Tatura on August 16.

Alpine Eagle is set to make his return in Saturday’s Group One Memsie Stakes.

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