Galileo Blueblood Salutes at Flemington
Mark Smith - Saturday, 5 August 2017

Making his first start since finishing second to Big Duke in the Group II Chairman's Hcp at Randwick back in April, the team Williams stayer Aloft kick-started his campaign towards the Melbourne Cup with a fighting win in Saturday's $120,000 The Nursery Handicap (2000m) at Flemington.

Ridden by Ben Melham for trainer Robert Hickmott, Aloft defeated Second Bullet by three-quarters of a length with Galaxy Raider ($8) a head away third. (photo Darryl Sherer).

Part-owner Nick Williams said the blueblood was following a similar path to Almandin who finished last in the same race before his Melbourne Cup triumph later in the season.

"It's a long way from August to Melbourne Cup Day, you've only got to look at Almandin on this day last year, no one had the Melbourne Cup on their mind, it's only because he's won the Melbourne Cup now that people are looking at this meeting," Williams told

"It's still a winter meeting and he's got a long way to go but we're very happy with the win.

"He's obviously a horse with ability, he likes these firm tracks and it's onwards and upwards and we'll find a race for him in the next three or four weeks.

"We like to get our horses fit as early as we can in the season and then just keep them ticking over so dad (Lloyd Williams) and Malcolm (McLaren) will pick out a few races for him and then we'll head towards the serious time in October and November with a bit of luck."

Melham, who rode the six-year-old son of Galileo to win at Flemington back in March and believes the gelding has improved physically.

"He's furnished more as a horse. He did a few things wrong the last time I rode him but he was very professional today," Melham said.

"I was able to cover up behind the leader and we weren't going that hard so I knew he was always going to finish off.

"He's a good horse and the race worked out well for us, he's got a bit of class about him."

Previously trained in Ireland by Aidan O'Brien, Aloft defeated subsequent Irish Derby runner-up Storm The Stars when breaking his maiden at Newmarket in October 2014 before finishing second in the Group I Racing Post Trophy at Doncaster.

The son of Galileo won the Listed Queens Vase at Ascot at his 3yo debut before finishing last behind Storm The Stars in the Group II Great Voltigeur Stakes at York.

Aloft was on his way to Australia where he was soon joined by the Chris Waller import Storm The Stars who had one more run, a fourth in the Group I St Leger at Doncaster.

A half-brother to Irish Group III winner Beauty Bright (Danehill), Aloft is out of the Group III winning Storm Cat mare Dietrich who is a granddaughter of the Group I Phoenix Stakes Aviance the dam of Group I winners Denon and Chimes Of Freedom and the Listed winner Imperfect Circle.

Chimes Of Freedom is the dam of multiple Group I winners and successful sires Aldebaran and Good Journey while Imperfect Circle is the dam of the outstanding miler and sire Spinning World. 

Race 4 - The Nursery Hcp - 2000m
Class: Open. Track: Good(4). Time: 2:03.02. Sectional Time: 0:35.72 at 600m.
Prizemoney: $120,000 - 1st: $66,000 2nd: $21,600 3rd: $10,800.
 1   Aloft (IRE) T: Robert Hickmott J: B Melham

6g   Galileo (IRE) x Dietrich (USA) (Storm Cat (USA) )
Not Offered
 2 0.8 Second Bullet T: D T O'Brien J: Damian Lane
7g   Encosta De Lago x Private Steer (Danehill Dancer (IRE) )
 Lot 340 2012 Inglis Australian Easter Yearling Sale
Vendor - Coolmore Stud, Jerry's Plains
Buyer - Danny O'Brien Racing  $235,000
 3 1.0 Galaxy Raider T: G Eurell J: Ms N Beriman
5g   Hard Spun (USA) x Galaxy Light (Way Of Light (USA) )
Lot 158 2013 Inglis Great Southern Weanling Sale
Vendor - Glen Eden Thoroughbred Agistment, Kilmore
Buyer - Passed $ 22,000 / Reserve $ 25,000   
 4 1.2 Loresho (FR) T: D K Weir J: Jye McNeil
7h   Halling (USA) x Luna Gulch (FR) (Gulch (USA) )
 5 2.0 Magic Consol T: P A Preusker J: Ms H McKechnie
8g   Consolidator (USA) x Shally's Magic (Shalford (IRE) )
 6 2.1 Extra Zero T: D and B Hayes and T Dabernig J: Regan Bayliss
11g   Danzero x Extra Bubbly (Bellotto (USA) )
 7 3.4 Killarney Kid (NZ) T: D K Weir J: John Allen
8g   Pendragon (NZ) x On Arrival (NZ) (Zabeel (NZ) )
 8 4.7 Swacadelic (GER) T: Aaron Purcell J: D Moor
7g   Adlerflug (GER) x Swish (GER) (Monsun (GER) )
 9 5.7 Bondi Beach (IRE) T: Robert Hickmott J: D Oliver
6g   Galileo (IRE) x One Moment In Time (IRE) (Danehill (USA) )
 10 11.7 First Course T: K M Keys J: Chris Symons
9g   Snitzel x Short 'n' Sweep (End Sweep (USA) )
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