An open letter to the connections of 2010 Melbourne Cup hope Sans Frontieres

Sir Robert Ogden and Jeremy Noseda,

I’m not going to lie – I feel it is really bizarre to be writing an open letter to two men on the other side of the world who are unlikely to see what I produce.

I’m only 19 years old and any clout that I have in the racing world is miniscule at best.

However, I feel so strongly about this that I just have to write this in the hope that it may make a difference.

And with that in mind, I say to you both today – PLEASE bring Sans Frontieres to Australia for the 150th running of the Emirates Melbourne Cup.

This horse’s win in the Irish St Leger was stunning.

Granted, he only won by three quarters of a length.

But we at Just Horse Racing agree that it was not the margin but the manner which matters.

He didn’t look comfortable in the going at any stage, but he still unleashed that turn of foot to win going away.

This horse reminded me of Vinnie Roe when he won on Saturday.

Vinnie Roe came to Melbourne in 2002, where he carried 59kg and ran 4th, beaten 3.9 lengths.

I’d even go so far to say that Sans Frontieres has more of a turn of foot than Vinnie Roe.

That has been the big problem with European stayers when they have come to Australia.

They have been dour stayers who are used to the tempo of European staying races, which tend to start slower and gradually increase in pressure.

The Melbourne Cup is run differently – most years it is a stop start tempo which means that a stayer needs to have a sprint.

Sans Frontieres demonstrated that on Saturday. He came from well back off a slow tempo and sprinted past Profound Beauty.

In the past, the likes of Yeats and Septimus have come to Australia after contesting the Irish St Leger.

However, they were not the right types of horses for Australia. They are the dour stayers with no turn of foot.

Septimus is a case in point. He ran 2nd until the straight, when he gradually passed the leader and continued to grind away to win.

He did win by 13 lengths, but he beat a maiden winner in his stablemate New Zealand.

He was already handicapped on 58.5kg and considering who he defeated, I don’t think he deserved a penalty.

While I don’t think he was ever going to win the Melbourne Cup, he was still given no chance with the riding tactics employed on him.

Then you consider who Sans Frontieres won against.

He defeated one of Ireland’s most consistent mares, who has been in stellar form this year and looked much more comfortable on the going.

She has already run 5th in the Melbourne Cup, and that day she jarred up.

Third over was one of the most promising stayers from a future viewpoint, with many already touting him as an Ascot Gold Cup prospect next season.

Yes, the 2kg penalty given by Racing Victoria chief handicapper Greg Carpenter may have been a little harsh.

However, he will still carry 1.5kg less than Septimus for what was arguably a more impressive win.

Undoubtedly, it was a victory more in the style of a Melbourne Cup winner.

Obviously, for a horse with such potential, there are many things to consider.

But I firmly believe that Sans Frontieres can win the Melbourne Cup. He is easily in my top three or four at the moment, along with local hopes Monaco Consul and So You Think.

The thrill of seeing a promising horse come to compete in the race that stops the nation is unmatchable, whether they are a local or an international.

I am a parochial Australian, but I would be more than happy to see Sans Frontieres take the Cup for England.

In time, he could prove to be one of the best horses to run in the race.

However, it is your decision.

I am just one teenager from Australia.

The majority of Australian racing fans want to see good horses competing in our best race – not all fans, but most.

And so, on behalf of the majority, I ask you – please keep the Melbourne Cup on the agenda. Please bring your star to Australia. Please give him the opportunity to join an honour roll of legends.


Written by Andrew Hawkins

14 Sep 2010

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