South African horseracing industry stalwart and veteran owner Larry Nestadt has a runner in Tuesday’s G1 Lexus Melbourne Cup at Flemington Park – traditionally still ‘the race that stops a nation’.
Nestadt is a member of the partnership that owns Military Mission (Mastercrafstman), a seven-time winner trained by Gai Waterhouse and Adrian Bott.
Military Mission is among the outsider for the race, but racing journo Andrew Hawkins writes positively in his preview: “Military Mission has made a most unusual journey from fifth at Royal Ascot in 2021 to Taree for their Cup last year, winning with 63kg, and now to Flemington for the first Tuesday in November.
“In fact, he’s become something of a Cups king over the last 12 months. He won the Taree Cup over 2000m last November, then the G3 Hobart Cup (2400m) in February and the G3 Newcastle Gold Cup (2300m) in September.
“He does have leading trainers Gai Waterhouse and Adrian Bott looking after him, 10 years after the first lady of racing won the Cup for the first time with Fiorente. And taking the ride is Rachel King, a terrific jockey with stayers who has been building something of an international profile throughout the year.
Another interest for South Africans will be a ride on in the Cup for young Zack Lloyd, son of legendary SA jockey Jeff and Nicola Lloyd, who reside on the Gold Coast and will be very proud of seeing the young man reach such great early heights. Zack has his first engagement in the famous race aboard Kalapour (War Command) trained by Kris Lees, and this one is considered to be a Top 10 contender.
Hawkins assessed: “Lightly raced in Ireland, Kalapour made a huge impression on debut at Hawkesbury last year before he had a couple of disappointing runs. In the end, though, they were probably what he needed to take him to the level that gained him a start in the Melbourne Cup.
“Taken to Brisbane for the autumn and winter, he won an 1815m handicap and finished second to fellow Cup runner Serpentine over 2200m before taking out the G3 Chairman’s Handicap (2000m) at Doomben. He was also just edged out in the G3 Premier’s Cup (2400m) before he was put away for a spell.
“Taking the mount is Sydney’s champion apprentice Zac Lloyd, who surely will win a Melbourne Cup in the years ahead. He has race sense and judgement beyond his years.”
The race is off at 3pm in Melbourne, that’s 6am SA time. Mdk Racing wishes Larry and Zac and their connections well!