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Can ownership change guide Admire
Deus to Melbourne Cup success?
Source: Iain Stirling via Twitter
Almandin won the Melbourne Cup in the 2016 season, producing a fine performance to beat out Heartbreak City by the narrowest of margins on the line.
The German horse will return to Flemington to defend his crown in his bid to join an elite company of competitors to have won the meet multiple times.
However, he will face stiff competition for the title, and one of the horses on the rise that has been touted to challenge the six-year-old is Admire Deus.
The Japanese thoroughbred has notched only two victories in his 16 races but has now changed hands into the ownership of Australian Bloodstock and trainer Darren Weir in preparation for the Melbourne Cup. As a result, Admire Deus is now backed in the latest horse racing odds at 20/1 to triumph, although one of his future stable-mates Red Cardinal will be in contention along with Almandin.
The Japanese horse had a slow start to his career with two underwhelming outings, finishing ninth and seventh in races in Nakayama and Tokyo respectively. However, the start of the 2015 season yielded his first victory, delivering a solid performance to win the Nikkei Shinshun Hai Stakes.
He produced an even better outing at Nakayama in the Nikkei Sho, winning by a comfortable margin over his nearest rival by one-and-three-quarter lengths.
Admire Deus lost his form following his success, failing to finish in the top 10 for the next three races on the bounce. He found a semblance of his best at the Arima Kinen in Tokyo but was still two lengths off the pace of winner Gold Actor, placing in seventh in a closely-contested meet.
The thoroughbred began the 2016 campaign with two decent outings to finish in third at the Kyoto Kinen and Hanshin Daishoten. His inconsistent form returned in a two-mile meet, finishing well off the pace at the Tenno Sho. Admire Deus came a whisker away from notching the third win of his career at the Kyoto Daishoten. The Japanese horse matched the pace of the leaders for the majority of the contest before making a surge down the final stretch, only to be beaten out by a neck by favourite Kitasan Black.
On Christmas Day, his poor form returned with an underwhelming outing at Nakayama in the Arima Kinen, finishing 11th out of 16 competitors. The new season prompted a change in trainers as Mitsuru Hashida was replaced by Tomoyuki Umeda.
It brought a slight improvement to the thoroughbred as he finished in third place in his first race, ending narrowly off the pace of the winner Sciacchetra. The six-year-old followed that performance with a fourth-place display in a two-mile meet in Kyoto, highlighting his talent at the distance.
Admire Deus has a lot of potential but has not proven his quality over the course of his career. The change in ownership and trainer could spark the horse into life, although it might not have come soon enough to get him on the right track to challenge for the Melbourne Cup.
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