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Ad Almandin claimed the 2016 Melbourne Cup after victory in The Bart Cummings. (Pat Scala/Racing Photos)

Coursing History – The Bart Cummings

5 October 2023 Written by Brad Bishop – Racing & Sports

Had the Victoria Racing Club been able to pick the winner of the first edition of The Bart Cummings that carried a Melbourne Cup ballot exemption, there was a standout contender.

The 2015 running of the 2500-metre event that is now established as the staying feature on the Turnbull Stakes Day card involved La Amistad, a half-sister to three-time Melbourne Cup winner Makybe Diva.

La Amistad could manage only ninth of 16, but the race was still won by a mare who has a close connection to a Melbourne Cup winner who has a home in the Hall of Fame.

Let’s Make Adeal is a granddaughter of 1991 Melbourne Cup winner Let’s Elope.

Sadly, Let’s Make Adeal was injured soon after her win in The Bart Cummings and didn’t contest the Melbourne Cup but the VRC did not have to wait long for a horse to justify their decision to offer a free pass through to the Melbourne Cup for the winner of The Bart Cummings.

Almandin won the 2016 The Bart Cummings and at his next start added his name to the most famous honour roll in Australian racing.

That cemented the race’s reputation as a key Melbourne Cup lead-up.

Who Shot Thebarman won the 2014 Bart Cummings on the way to a third placed finish in the Melbourne Cup. (Racing Photos)

Brew won the 2500-metre handicap on Turnbull Stakes Day in 2000, the year he also won the Melbourne Cup, but it was not until 2004 that the man most synonymous with the Melbourne Cup had his name attached to the race.

Since then, nine winners of The Bart Cummings have faced the starter in the big ‘two-miler’ with all but two finishing in the top six on the first Tuesday in November.

The Bart Cummings winners’ record in the Melbourne Cup;

2007 DOLPHIN JO 5th Melbourne Cup
2010 HARRIS TWEED 5th Melbourne Cup
2014 WHO SHOT THEBARMAN 3rd Melbourne Cup
2016 ALMANDIN WON Melbourne Cup
2017 AMELIE’S STAR 14th Melbourne Cup
2018 AVILIUS 22nd Melbourne Cup
2019 SURPRISE BABY 5th Melbourne Cup
2020 PERSAN 5th Melbourne Cup
2021 GRAND PROMENADE 6th Melbourne Cup

Last year's winner, Lunar Flare, has already secured a golden ticket for this year's Melbourne Cup after winning the Listed Andrew Ramsden (2800m) earlier in 2023. (Brett Holburt/Racing Photos)

Last year Lunar Flare and Francesco Guardi ran one-two in The Bart Cummings, before filling the quinella in reverse order in the Group 2 Moonee Valley Cup, only for neither to make it to Flemington on Melbourne Cup Day.

Last year’s The Bart Cummings did have an impact on the Melbourne Cup with High Emocean finishing third behind Gold Trip and Emissary after running sixth in the early-October Group 3.

The two horses in this year’s field of 16 plus four emergencies punters consider the most likely to claim the ballot exemption were not assured of a start as of Thursday morning with Danny O’Brien-trained import Carini and Mark and Levi Kavanagh-trained four-year-old First Immortal first and second emergencies.

High Emocean is back for another crack, along with previous Melbourne Cup runners Ashrun, Serpentine, Sir Lucan and Interpretation, plus Goldman, who is already guaranteed a start in the Melbourne Cup owing to his win in the Roy Higgins Quality in March this year.

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