Jaameh makes up for miss­ing the Cup

Sunday Mail - - SPORT - MATHEW TOO­GOOD

AF­TER just fall­ing short of forc­ing his way into the Mel­bourne Cup, im­ported stayer Jaameh yes­ter­day claimed a con­so­la­tion with a fight­ing vic­tory in the Group 3 Queen Eliz­a­beth Stakes at Flem­ing­ton.

The Lind­say Park-trained Jaameh fin­ished a close sec­ond in The Bart Cum­mings at Flem­ing­ton ear­lier this spring be­fore a third in the Lexus Stakes last Satur­day — both races car­ried Mel­bourne Cup bal­lot ex­emp­tions to the win­ner.

Af­ter be­ing bal­loted out of the Cup on Tues­day, con­nec­tions re­set their fo­cus to the $300,000 Queen Eliz­a­beth (2600m) and Jaameh, the $3.30 favourite, ral­lied strongly un­der Mark Zahra when it mat­tered to fight back and beat Sully ($10) by a half-head.

Li­bran ($8) led in the rest of the field in third, an­other two lengths away. As well as the $180,000 first prize­money, Jaameh also earned a $100,000 bonus — on of­fer to the win­ner if they had been bal­loted out of the Mel­bourne Cup.

Trainer David Hayes hopes the vic­tory lifts Jaameh’s rat­ing enough for in­clu­sion in next year’s Mel­bourne Cup, while in the shorter term the Syd­ney Cup in the au­tumn shapes as an op­tion.

“He’s a gen­uine two-miler who we haven’t got to two miles yet,” Hayes said.

“I think he would have been a top-five fin­isher in the Mel­bourne Cup.

“He’s a real stayer and what won that race to­day was his stay­ing abil­ity. He was beaten and then he re­ally stuck on.”

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