Alegron Up for the Cup after VRC St Leger Win
Though horse racing powerhouse Godolphin may well commit to sending overseas horses to the Melbourne Cup Carnival this year, they may also be represented by one from the local team.
Godolphin’s trainer James Cummings was responsible for the VRC St Leger winner Alegron who may now head to the Melbourne Cup on November 1.
Alegron is a work in progress for sure. A maiden winner at Newcastle last August, he has since shown his staying power. Cummings’ horse was placed in the Victoria and Australian Derbies behind hotpot Hitotsu.
More Improvement to Come from Alegron
Having now taken the 2800-metre St Leger, the galloper can continue to get better. His trainer reckons he is just the right type for the Cup. It’ll certainly be interesting to see how he gets on the rest of this year.
Cummings does not nominate many horses for Melbourne Cups. Alegron seems a little different however and his performances clearly have the trainer thinking.
In the VRC St Leger, it was noted that Alegron travelled nicely. Despite this, he found himself in a pocket at halfway but under Damien Oliver he managed to duck and weave through the pack to outstay The Cunning Fox, eventually winning by 2¼ lengths.
The win shows how far he has come in the last nine months or so. The St Leger was also Oliver’s first win aboard the son of Teofilo and there has to be more to come.
As for what’s to come between now and the Cup, Cummings has answered that too. It seems Alegron could try to win his own Derby in a few weeks. He heads next for the South Australian Derby which may just be the perfect race for him.
Should the VRC St Leger Winner Be Guaranteed a Spot in the Melbourne Cup?
Hot on the heels of Alegron’s victory and subsequent revelation that he may head for the Melbourne Cup, trainer Gai Waterhouse sparked conversation about whether or not the St Leger winner should get an automatic spot in the race.
Waterhouse has won the St Leger five times and believes it should be a qualifying event. The Listed event on Anzac Day isn’t currently a “win and you’re in” affair, and some like it that way.
Before the race, James Cummings had said publicly that the form doesn’t always stand up. He did however admit that races evolve and of course went on to win it with Alegron.
The first of five races in Australia comes up very soon offering the winner exemption from the ballot for the Melbourne Cup.
The St Leger prize money has moved up from $200,000 to $300,000 which may help to attract stronger fields. Waterhouse believes that last year, with a “stronger Australian and New Zealand representation” in the Cup, betting turnover was better.
Waterhouse’s theory is that people need to know the horses, which they don’t when they’re from overseas. In fairness however, proper racing people will not be so parochial.