Progressive imported stayer Avilius will not run in the Metropolitan Handicap at Randwick with Godolphin to instead aim him at the Melbourne Cup via the Bart Cummings.
Avilius, who has won all three of his Australian starts including Saturday’s Group 3 Kingston Town Stakes (2000m), was one of the top fancies for the Metropolitan (2400m) on September 29.
The winner of the Group 3 Bart Cummings (2500m) on October 6 gains an exemption to the Melbourne Cup.
Class animal! Godolphin will be formidable come melb cup day if Hamada & Avilius get through to the big dance! 🕺🏽
— Nick Smith (@ndws1985) September 18, 2018
“We feel that giving Avilius a look at Flemington with the hope of gaining a start in the Melbourne Cup is the right way to go with the horse,” Godolphin Australia trainer James Cummings said.
“We discussed this as a team and are confident this is the best lead-up to the Cup and we are all extremely excited to be going down this path.”
Not a bad idea. If he cant beat Loyd in the Bart Cummings then he can't win the cup. James is a very intelligent man.
— Jared Fisher (@JPF1986) September 18, 2018
Although Avilius is yet to race beyond 2000m in Australia, he has a second to Cracksman over 2400m in a Group 2 race in France.