Internationals expected to swamp Melbourne

The Victoria Racing Club is gearing up for a mammoth Melbourne Cup with news that one of the largest international contingents on record may compete at this year’s Spring Racing Carnival.

Racing Victoria international scout Leigh Jordan has been overseas talking to trainers and owners about potential runners for the Caulfield Cup, Cox Plate and Melbourne Cup.

The response has been nothing short of amazing.

Just Horse Racing has already revealed that Dermot Weld has four potential travellers. This includes the two favourites in Betfair’s pre-nomination trading for the Melbourne Cup in Profound Beauty and Rite of Passage. He also has Cox Plate possible Famous Name and another Melbourne Cup horse in Majestic Concorde. Click here to read more.

Top English trainer Luca Cumani revealed to Just Horse Racing last week that Manighar and Drunken Sailor were his two most likely competitors, with Bauer and Purple Moon also a chance. Click here to read more.

We have also brought you details of Jeremy Noseda’s two possible runners, Sans Frontieres and Theology. Click here to read more.

Leigh Jordan, in an interview with Sky Racing, revealed more potential visitors to Melbourne this spring.

The world’s largest stable, Godolphin, is expected to return after finishing second for the third time last year with Crime Scene.

Their main chance is expected to be Holberg, the 2009 Queen’s Vase winner who has a six length victory over Manighar against his name.

Last start, however, he was disappointing as second favourite behind Sans Frontieres in the Princess of Wales Stakes, and he would need to run well at his next start to push ahead to Melbourne.

Nevertheless, Godolphin has numerous horses in contention and it will depend on performances in the next few weeks.

It is unclear whether Aidan O’Brien will bring horses to Melbourne.

His last journey to Australia was in 2008, when he brought three horses – Septimus, Honolulu and Alessandro Volta.

All three finished near the tail after setting a blistering early tempo.

This year, it seems he has limited choice, with the two most likely contenders Ascot Gold Cup runner up Age of Aquarius and Queen’s Vase winner Mikhail Glinka.

Jane Chapple-Hyam, daughter of former opposition leader Andrew Peacock, had a bad experience last time in Australia when her gelding Yellowstone was scratched the night before the 2008 Melbourne Cup.

She is hoping that she may have a better experience with Golden Sword, an Irish Derby runner up with form around classy horses like Sea The Stars, Conduit, Fame and Glory and Rip Van Winkle.

“We are definitely planning to run Golden Sword in the Group Three Coutts Glorious Stakes (2400m) on July 30,” Chapple-Hyam said.

“We’ll see from there.”

The Glorious Stakes was contested last year by subsequent Melbourne Cup contenders Crime Scene, Basaltico and Warringah.

John Gosden is a renowned traveller of horses, having won numerous Group races in Europe and the United States.

He has never had a runner in Australia, but that may change with the trainer likely to nominate King of Wands for the Melbourne Cup.

King of Wands has won five of his eleven starts, including a last start victory in the Coral Marathon (3200m) at Sandown.

French trainers may look to Melbourne too, with news that the impressive Group 1 Prince of Wales Stakes winner Byword may be heading to the Cox Plate.

That day, Byword beat well travelled stars Presvis, Shalanaya, Cavalryman and Twice Over.

His trainer, Andre Fabre, has indicated that a Cox Plate run is a definite possibility.

It was announced earlier this year that fellow French trainer Pascal Bary was looking at the Cox Plate for his Dubai World Cup winner Gloria de Campeao.

It is unknown if Bary still intends to bring his star to Melbourne, but it is likely that more will be known after he runs in the Group 1 Juddmonte International at York on August 17.

Just Horse Racing brought to you the story of Hong Kong horse Carthage and the ownership dispute which resulted in a change of trainer. Read more here.

It can be confirmed that Carthage is now with Derek Cruz, and that one of the possible aims for the horse is the Melbourne Cup.

It is still believed that John Moore’s Able One is a possibility for the Cox Plate.

The Japanese, who have been unable to compete since 2006 when they quinellaed the Melbourne Cup, have only a few days left to get government approval.

If this cannot be reached, the Spring Racing Carnival will not see Japanese horses for the fourth consecutive year.

This year’s Spring Racing Carnival promises to be massive, and Just Horse Racing will be there every step of the way. Bookmark us now to receive unprecedented coverage of this year’s Spring Racing Carnival.

Written by Andrew Hawkins

16 Jul 2010

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