As Lindsay Park booked Melbourne Cup-winning hoop Jye McNeil for a Group 1 tilt for Fifty Stars, they had their fingers crossed an improving Constantinople could surge back to the form that once made him a spring carnival eye-catcher.
Young hoop McNeil will ride 2020 Australian Cup winner Fifty Stars in Saturday week’s Group 1 Doomben Cup where the galloper is rated a $9 chance off the back of surging home for second in last Saturday’s Group 2 Hollindale Stakes on the Gold Coast.
Wizard of the west Willie Pike rode on that occasion but is not expected to ride in Brisbane for the rest of the winter carnival, opening the way for McNeil to shoot for his fourth career Group 1 win.
Annabel Neasham import Zaaki is the $3 favourite in the Doomben Cup after his powerful win in the Hollindale but the Lindsay Park team say Fifty Stars has pulled up a treat and is on song for a Cup tilt.
McNeil partnered Fifty Stars earlier in the galloper’s career, including when the jockey grabbed his first Sydney win in the Group 2 Ajax Stakes in 2019.
Meanwhile, the Lindsay Park training team of Tom Dabernig and Ben Hayes will have Constantinople trying to turn back time and score a 2021 Melbourne Cup ticket by winning Saturday’s $400,000 The Andrew Ramsden (2800m) at Flemington.
Constantinople was a major Melbourne Cup betting mover in 2019 after running a sizzling fourth in the Caulfield Cup in his first Australian run since coming from master Irish trainer Aidan O’Brien.
He started $9.50 in the Melbourne Cup that year, finishing 13th behind Vow And Declare, and has largely been disappointing since.
Lindsay Park ws heartened by the effort of Constantinople in the Warrnambool Cup. Picture: Jay TownSource:News Corp Australia
However, Lindsay Park was encouraged by his fifth placing behind Le Lon De Vie in the Warrnambool Cup (2350m) last week and feel he will be suited on the quick back-up and out to a more suitable trip in The Andrew Ramsden.
The short-term goal is to maximise his prizemoney but a Melbourne Cup ticket would be nice if he could get back to his old form.
“I thought his first-up run OK, second-up he was disappointing but in the Warrnambool Cup he was definitely much better,” Dabernig said.
“I think he will be better again fourth-up and he will be nice and fit, although I guess it is hard to get too confident about him until you see him do it.”
Enigmatic Lindsay Park galloper So Si Bon is being set for a tilt at the Group 1 Kingsford-Smith Cup (1300m) at Eagle Farm on May 29 and will trial at Tatura next week in preparation for a Queensland trip.
Originally published asLindsay Park secures top hoop for Fifty Stars
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