Last week there was Group 1 action in Ireland and France.
What’s happening overseas?
The past weekend saw the running of the prestigious Group 1 Irish Derby at The Curragh.
This race also holds a formline for future Melbourne Cup watchers, as previous editions have also spawned contenders that have ventured down under.
Last year saw the winner Latrobe and Rostropovich lineup in feature races in Australia, though Latrobe missed a majority of the Melbourne Spring Carnival due to illness and really only came right at the end, running second in the McKinnon Stakes on the fourth day of the Flemington carnival.
Rostropovich ran creditable fifths in both the WS Cox Plate and Melbourne Cup.
Sovereign’s Irish Derby
This years running sprung a surprise, in that the least fancied of Aidan O’Brien’s runners: Sovereign at 33/1 won the race by a country mile after giving a decent but small field of eight a merry chase.
He was expected to be the bunny for his other highly credentialled stablemates, but obviously his energizer batteries were fully charged on the day.
Among the stragglers included the Epsom Derby winner Anthony Van Dyck (second), Norway (third) and Madhmoon (fourth).
Could he be coming down under in the spring? Aidan O’Brien certainly has some decisions to make in the next few weeks about which horses to bring to Australia.
— The Curragh Racecourse (@curraghrace) June 29, 2019
Lloyd Williams and Buckhurst
Also at The Curragh, Lloyd Williams owned Buckhurst gave trainer Joseph O’Brien victory in the Group III International Stakes.
The lightly raced three year old looks a promising sort, but still lacks experience at only his fourth start for the connections to consider taking him away on an overseas jaunt I would suggest.
Maybe next year, as Williams plots another course toward the Melbourne Cup.
Full replay and report: Watch how Buckhurst recorded his first win at Group level in the Dubai Duty Free Full Of Surprises International Stakes at @curraghrace plus reaction from @JosephOBrien2 >>>https://t.co/CKqvU5VSdK pic.twitter.com/UDQp8dZXBs
— Racing TV (@RacingTV) June 29, 2019
Coronet delivers for John Gosden in France
The five year old grey mare Coronet delivered another Group 1 for master Newmarket trainer John Gosden, as she won her first top line race in France, winning the Grand Prix de Saint Cloud over 2400m.
The daughter of Irish stallion Dubawi ridden by Frankie Dettori prevailed with an inside run to deny Ziyad (Ryan Moore) and also her stablemate Lah Ti Dar.
Coronet finished runner up in this event a year ago to French local Waldgeist though there was to be no runner-up repeat this time.
The word is she’ll be aimed at the Prix D’larc de Triomphe in October, so no plans to travel to travel south I’m afraid.
The disappointment of the race was Marmelo who finished in behind the leading trio, though was never threatening.
We’ll be keeping an eye on his performances in the next month or two.
— At The Races (@AtTheRaces) June 30, 2019
What’s happening locally?
Wet tracks prevailed in the three feature meetings across Australia on the weekend.
It was a Heavy 10 on the Sunshine Coast at Caloundra, a Soft 7 on what as a gloomy day at Caulfield with awful weather across the state, while up in Sydney at Rosehill, it was a Heavy 9.
German Kiwi prevails in Caloundra Cup
Useful Kiwi mare Igraine who has German breeding, got up in the Caloundra Cup, and was a shoe-in once the track was deemed heavy after rain which fell all week, landed on the Sunny Coast.
A noted wet tracker, she defeated Group 1 winning mare Sopressa, with third placing going to Travistee who is making his way through the grades.
She’ll next appear in the listed Grafton Cup in a few weeks time.
Sopressa meanwhile, could be off to the breeding barn, apparently a date with Zoustar is all but assured.
So the racing days of the former South Australian Oaks winner may have come to an end.
— Sky Racing (@SkyRacingAU) June 29, 2019
Azuro delivers for Eustace/Maher
With Ciaron Maher away overseas, it was up to training partner David Eustace to look after the team back home, and stayer Azuro duly obliged, picking up a rare staying race at Rosehill on Saturday for the stable.
It’s not often you see a 3200m race contested at Rosehill, but the Stayers Cup seems to be a race gaining prominence among trainers, as there aren’t that many 3200m races in Australasia, other than the Melbourne, Sydney, Sandown and Auckland Cups.
Azuro dispatched a handy field, with Doukhan and High Bridge running the minor placings.
It’s fair to say that none of the field look like they’ll make the final cut come November, but at least horses are given the opportunity to race over these longer distances, which is becoming a rarity these days, considering the Australian Racing industry’s love affair with sprinters.
Azuro now heads to Eagle Farm and will race in the listed Queensland Cup on July 20.
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