Jaameh makes up for missing the Cup
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.”