Hugh Bowman has been booked to ride Almoonqith in Saturday’s featured 2016 Group 1 Sydney Cup (3200m) at Royal Randwick after regular rider Michael Walker was ruled out of the meet with concussion.
Almoonqith has posted a number of commendable results for David Hayes and Tom Dabernig since arriving in Australia prior to the 2015 Spring Carnival and has been partnered by Walker in five of his ten starts so far.
While thrilled to have booked the in-form to take the ride on the classy son of Dynaformer in the 2016 Sydney Cup, co-trainer Hayes told The Daily Telegraph he is disappointed for Walker, who will also miss the gun ride on Criterion in the Group 1 Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2000m).
“I haven’t had the chance to speak to Michael yet but I understand he has concussion and won’t be able to ride this week,” Hayes said.
“It is shocking luck for Michael as he was due to ride Almoonqith in the Sydney Cup and Criterion in the Queen Elizabeth Stakes.
“They are two big rides to have to miss, particularly as both horses have been set for this race and I think they will be very hard to beat.”
Almoonqith has been a strong and consistent performer through his entire racing career since first appearing on course competitively in 2012; posting a commendable six wins and four minors through twenty-six career starts.
Beginning his racing career in France, Almoonqith was purchased and transferred to the care of trainer Mike De Kock in Dubai prior to his 2014 campaign and immediately stamped himself as one to watch in running fifth in the Friday Handicap (1900m) and winning the Al Naboodah Group Trophy (1800m).
A standout performer for De Kock in the early stages of 2015, the stallion out of Bohemia Lady ran fourth in the Jaguar F Type Trophy (2000m) before winning the Group 3 Nad Al Sheeba Trophy (2810m) most notably in late February.
Having capped his maiden Australian preparation with success in the Listed Sandown Cup (3200m) on November 14th, Almoonqith has steadily built to the task through three starts this time; placing a credible sixth in the Group 1 The BMW (2400m) last time.
Ladbrokes.com.au is currently offering the best 2016 Sydney Cup odds, for which Almoonqith can be taken at a quote of $10 for success.