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Hayes can only rue what might have been in Cup as Jaameh delivers

10 November 2018 5:02 AM
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Hayes and his crew lodged a protest at the time - ironic given that Jaameh was owned by Sheikh Hamdan Al Maktoum, the brother of Godolphin's creater Sheikh Mohammed - in the desperate hope that they might get the result reversed, so keen were they to ensure Jaameh could qualify for the Melbourne Cup.

That attempt failed so in a last gasp bid to get the son of Iffraaj into the Cup field Hayes and his training partners, son Ben and nephew Tom Dabernig, rolled the dice on Derby Day last Saturday in the 2500-metre Lexus Stakes, another race which guaranteed the winner a spot in the Cup field.

The trainer had been telling people all spring that Jaameh was his best Cup hope, especially with the light weight he had been allocated - if only he could get into the race.

Again the gamble almost came off - but not quite as Jaameh ran valiantly to finish third behind A Prince of Arran, who took the last spot in the $7.3 million race.

So the trainer could have been forgiven for thinking what might have been when he legged Mark Zahra up in the Flemington yard on Saturday in a race which is effectively a Cup consolation, the 2600-metre Queen Elizabeth Stakes.

The English import showed that Hayes judgement was not far off, displaying plenty of fight, guts and spirit to come back off the canvas to down Sully close to the line to land the spoils with Libran, the former English stayer, third.

It looked as though the Trent Busuttin and Natalie Young trained Sully had seen off the challenge of Hayes galloper: certainly the trainer said afterwards that he had given up hope after the leader went at least a neck clear.

But Zahra conjured a second wind out of his partner and Jaameh did the rest.

''He was beaten and he really stuck on,'' said a delighted Hayes, who will now aim Jaameh at next year's Sydney Cup and, hopefully the Melbourne Cup of 2019.


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