Last week it was all about Royal Ascot and the five-day meeting between Tuesday and Saturday.
From a Melbourne Cup perspective, the one big race that everyone had their eye on was the Royal Ascot Coronation Cup, Group 1, raced over 4000m featuring the world’s best stayer Stradivarius.
Royal Ascot Coronation Cup
The end result of the race turned out pretty much as expected, except for the placegetters with last year’s Melbourne Cup winner Cross Counter surprisingly finishing out of the money in 4th place, but he did run the second fastest 600m sectional apart from the winner Stradivarius.
THE PEOPLE’S CHAMPIONS
— At The Races (@AtTheRaces) June 20, 2019
Whether he returns to Melbourne to defend his title will depend very much on what the VRC handicapper decides will be an appropriate weight for him to carry.
One horse who looks like a sure thing to contest the Melbourne Cup is the third placegetter Master of Reality, who is owned by Lloyd Williams.
Any horse who can run over a long distance on a softish track deserves a bit of a closer inspection.
Even this far out on the timeline this horse demands some respect.
We write a little bit more about Master of Reality further down in this report.
The VRC Handicapper
The issue of three-year old’s bred to Northern Hemisphere time has come into the news spotlight during the last week.
Of course, this was highlighted by the featherweights given to the last two Melbourne Cup winners in Rekindling and Cross Counter, so it was only a matter of time before the Handicapper Greg Carpenter looked to plug the gap.
European trainers looking for an easy way into the race might have to reassess their strategy and plot a different course.
Personally, I think another rule should be that all horses that are nominated and in the ballot/order of entry for the Cup should actually have run at least one race in the Australian/New Zealand spring, rather than turn up without having had a race at all.
Whether this will fly remains to be seen obviously.
Cross Counter, Muntaaha and Marmelo were three examples last year, Rekindling the year before, plus Admire Rahkti in the Caulfield Cup of 2014; all notable first timers.
What’s happening locally?
There were two local races of minor interest in Australia over the weekend.
The first was up at Eagle Farm where three year old Vow And Declare won the Group 3 Lazy Yak Tattersalls Cup (3000m) defeating older horses such as Big Duke and Our Libretto.
This horse ran second in the Queensland Derby to the promising Mr Quickie a fortnight ago, so it’s obvious that Victorian trainer Danny O’Brien rates him as a useful prospect for a tilt at the Melbourne Cup with a formline based around his Queensland efforts.
Meanwhile down in Melbourne, the Ballarat trained Chouxting The Mob prevailed in the 2520m Great Ocean Road Handicap, in what proved to be a sit and sprint affair.
This five year old looks to be a promising galloper too, and that victory took him to his fourth consecutive win. Picket fences all round then.
Chouxting The Mob makes it four in a row, lifted by Damien Oliver! pic.twitter.com/7kG3VjGomP
— Racing.com (@Racing) June 22, 2019
Horse profile of the week
This week we look at the Lloyd Williams owned and Joseph O’Brien trained Master Of Reality.
We mentioned him above as a placegetter in the Coronation Cup.
Any horse that stands out in a race like that deserves a mention, though it must be said he was pegged on the line for second place by Dee Ex Bee, but over 4000m, I think he can be forgiven.
A son of Frankel, he was purchased by Lloyd Williams in the middle of last season, and transferred from France to Ireland with the plan to get him ready for the 2018 Melbourne Cup.
A poor run in his first Irish start, finishing eleven lengths behind winner Rostropovich put paid to those plans.
Nine months later and now gelded, it seems his mind is well and truly on the job. Master Of Reality would have followed in the hoofsteps of Rekindling had he made it to Melbourne last year, but coming down a year later as a mature rising five year old will make a world of difference.
Here he is winning the Vintage Crop Stakes (2800m) back on April 29th as a 33/1 outsider, defeating hot favourite Capri from the Aidan O’Brien stable.
— Navan Racecourse (@NavanRacecourse) April 28, 2019
That’s all for this weeks Melbourne Cup Watch Report.
Keep checking in with Kruzey.com.au for more, as we count down to the first Tuesday in November 2019.