Is Thomas Hobson good enough to win the Melbourne Cup?
Source: Ascot Racecourse via Facebook
Thomas Hobson is a phenomenal horse. Without a shadow of a doubt, he produced the performance of the opening day at Royal Ascot to win the Ascot Stakes under a superb ride from Ryan Moore. The Willie Mullins-trained seven year old made a late move in the final couple of furlongs to romp home, beating Endless Acres by six lengths. It truly was a show of dominance from one of the most versatile horses in the business.
Mullins and Moore have teamed up to win this very race twice in recent times, leading Simenon into the winner’s enclosure in 2012 before claiming victory with Clondaw Warrior just two years ago. Winning any race at Royal Ascot is impressive but to win with such ease is something else and Thomas Hobson deserves plenty of credit. Can he go on to win the Melbourne Cup? It would be foolish to bet against him…
At the time of writing, Red Cardinal currently heads the betting but plenty of punters will be considering backing Thomas Hobson ahead of November’s showpiece in Australia. The best two milers on the planet will compete down under in one of the most prestigious races in the industry and Mullins has hinted at a potential entry for the Ascot victor. If he emulates his Ascot Stakes performance, he will be very difficult to beat – even with a number of solid competitors up against him.
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Red Cardinal joined Andreas Wohler’s yard after finishing third in a Group 3 at Newbury last summer but won over an extended trip of 16 furlongs on debut for his new trainer at Belmont this month. If he continues to shine over the longer distance, the five-year-old will go off as red-hot favourite and he will take some stopping. To put his form into perspective, he is yet to finish outside of the places in six outings.
Meanwhile, 2016 winner Almandin will also feature prominently in the betting markets and it may prove prudent to side with the tried-and-tested choice. On that day, he beat the well fancied Heartbreak City in a tight-knit finish and he will be well backed again this year. The six-year-old is in the form of his life and, while he hasn’t had a run since emerging victorious in the Melbourne Cup, he will be in the running for a second successive win.
However, Thomas Hobson has the proven form on the big stage this season and racing fans will be keen to stick with the Mullins superstar. As of June 21st, punters can get 16/1 for the Royal Ascot victor to claim another win in November – and Oddschecker, who tipped Thomas Hobson in their opening day bets, will be keeping a close eye on declarations for the big races throughout the summer and start of the winter season.
There are no worries when it comes to lasting the trip. For a while, Thomas Hobson was cast out at the back of the field at Ascot but he responded when it mattered most and took the lead in the latter stages. That race was over 19 furlongs but he has won over 24 furlongs in the past and stamina won’t be an issue; in fact, he probably stays better than both of his main rivals.
With Moore on board, anything is possible. Often referred to as “Superman”, he is widely regarded as the best flat racing jockey on the planet and he will probably get the ride in November. Owner Rich Ricci will almost certainly enter him at the earliest possible moment but nothing is ever a given in racing. Keep an ear out for any whispers of news in the Mullins camp and who knows, we could see the Ricci colours romp home first once again.
Whether you are a Thomas Hobson fan or sticking with 2016 winner Almandin, one thing is for sure: the 2017 Melbourne Cup will be a competitive battle between some of the fastest stayers in the industry. Ryan Moore’s booking will give the Mullins horse an advantage but there are so many magnificent horses in contention and it would be hard to pick just one. But for now, Thomas Hobson looks very well placed to challenge for glory.