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The Bart Cummings is a Group 3 quality handicap race held each year in early October at Flemington racecourse in Melbourne, Victoria. The race is run over a distance of 2500 metres and worth $300,000 in prizemoney. The 2016 The Bart Cummings was won by Almandin from Zanteca with Excess Knowledge third.
Previously a listed race, The Bart Cummings was upgraded to Group 3 status for the 2014/2015 racing season and takes place on Gr1 Turnbull Stakes day. The Bart Cummings is exempt from ballot for the 2016 Melbourne Cup, joining the Lexus Stakes, Mackinnon Stakes, Caulfield Cup and Cox Plate.
The Bart Cummings is the first longer distance group race of the Melbourne spring and generally attracts staying types that are just below the upper echelon, with the handicap conditions lending themselves to the better weighted runners engaged.
Earlier middle distance events like the Gr3 Naturalism Stakes at Caulfield or the JRA Cup at Moonee Valley are possible lead up races to The Bart Cummings, especially for those horses looking to step up in distance towards the longer feature races ahead.
The upcoming Gr3 Herbert Power Stakes at Caulfield might be next in line for the better stayers going around. Sea Moon (2nd in 2013) followed up his narrow victory in this event with victory in the Herbert Power Stakes at his next start.
Almandin (2016) won the listed Harry White Stakes over 2400m at Caulfield before scoring the easiest of victories in this event and recent The Bart Cummings winners include Let's Make Adeal (2015) and Who Shot Thebarman (2014).
Spring Carnival Guide
Who Shot Thebarman (2014) went on to run third in the Gr1 Melbourne Cup at Flemington on the first Tuesday in November.
Araldo (2013) managed to run third in the Gr3 The Lexus Stakes at Flemington on the first day of the four-day Melbourne Cup Carnival, while Sea Moon (2nd in 2013) won the Herbert Power Stakes at his next start. Gotta Take Care (3rd in 2013) came third in the Gr2 Moonee Valley Cup on Cox Plate day at Moonee Valley.
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