The action continues with staying events in Brisbane on the weekend, plus happenings elsewhere around the world.
Queensland Derby (Group 1, 2400m)
This is not usually a race with high drama, but this year’s edition featured triumph, tragedy and protest.
There is no doubting the potential of the winner Mr Quickie, who followed up his fast finishing third in the South Australian Derby, plus a whole list of wins in Melbourne over the autumn.
The Phillip Stokes trained galloper confirmed his credentials and looks a good prospect heading into the spring, especially those races between 1600m and 2400m.
Coming in second was Vow And Declare, whose rider Damien Oliver threw in a dubious protest claiming interference by the winner.
The Stewards threw it out in quick time though. Third was Aliferous.
The tragedy of the day was the fall of Kiwi horse Lord Arthur, who encountered an extreme check in the home straight causing him to fall and break a rear leg.
Jockey Corey Brown was taken to hospital, the Murray Baker/Andrew Forsman trained galloper, who was a half brother to former top Group 1 winning mare Bonneval had to be euthanized because of his injuries.
A huge tragedy indeed, and one which will have repurcussions in the Inquiry Room with several jockeys to be questioned about their tactics and rides.
— Sky Racing (@SkyRacingAU) June 8, 2019
Brisbane Cup (Group 2, 2400m)
This was a race I was looking forward to, with several contenders looking to add to their credentials.
One of those was Queenslander The Candy Man who was unbeaten over several starts prior to this.
However, there was to be no sweet surprises for the flashy grey galloper on his home turf.
The winner ended up being the former Darren Weir trained Sixties Groove who most certainly found his mojo on a Good 3 track at Eagle Farm on Saturday.
During last Spring, the former import won the listed Moe Cup, and had a chance to make the Melbourne Cup field by starting in the Hotham Handicap (formerly the Lexus Stakes) on Victoria Derby Day, but failed to make the cut.
He was then transferred to the Newcastle stable of Kris Lees following Darren Weir’s four year ban, and now the horse is gradually finding his feet again, and adds his name to the list of Cups contenders for further progression into the spring.
His recent form was very good after being placed in the Doomben Cup a few weeks back (as the favourite), plus the P. J O’Shea Stakes, both races won by the fast improving Victorian mare Kenedna.
The big question is: can Sixties Groove run two miles?
Second was the improving Grey Lion who we mentioned a couple of weeks ago.
He may have run a bit closer had he run a straight line down the home straight.
He looked like a drunken sailor there for a moment. Third was the evergreen stayer Big Duke.
— Sky Racing (@SkyRacingAU) June 8, 2019
As for the weather on the day, it was lovely with very good conditions, aided by an excellent track rating which pleased all connections with every horse given a chance.
The final Group 1 of the season (the Tatts Tiara) will be run in a fortnight.
What’s happening overseas?
No notable races occurred on the weekend in the UK, but the big race days at Royal Ascot are fast approaching.
The big showdown will be in the 4000m Royal Ascot Coronation Cup, featuring the two big guns: Stradivarius and Cross Counter.
Both are in contention for a million pound bonus if they succeed in this race along with the Goodwood and Lonsdale Cups to follow.
It’ll be a great field and one in which keen Melbourne Cup observers will be keeping tabs on with an eye to the future.
OTI Racing who have significant interests in Australia will be bringing another of their European gallopers down under.
His name is Amade, and he won the Group 2 Belmont Gold Cup over 3200m, at Belmont Park on New York’s Long Island last week.
Red Cardinal was another to win this race (back in 2017) before heading to Melbourne, so it’s not the first time it’s been done.
Unusual for Amade who has raced mainly on synthetic tracks back in France and then succeeds on turf at just his third go.
He’s another to add to our list of contenders.
His next assignment will likely be the Group 2 Prix Kergolay in Deauville France before making his way to Australia.
Libran, the staying warrior of the Chris Waller stable has unfortunately broken down in trackwork on the Gold Coast and had to be euthanized.
He was preparing for the weekends Brisbane Cup last Tuesday before breaking down.
The former French galloper was a durable horse, picking up four wins in Australia and placing second in the 2016 Sydney Cup won by Gallante, and placing eighth in Rekindling‘s 2017’s Melbourne Cup.
Commiserations to connections.
That’s all for this weeks Melbourne Cup Watch Report.
Keep checking in with KRUZEY for more, as we count down to the first Tuesday in November 2019