As this article is being written, it’s the 1st of August and a new racing season begins in earnest.
However, down under in Australia and New Zealand, both countries are plagued by rain sodden tracks making for unsuitable conditions to bring back top line performers to the racetrack.
Let’s hope the rain gods go on holiday from now until Christmas.
Big guns on the way
Good news for followers of the UK/European raiders, with connections of last years three placegetters indicating a return to Melbourne is on the cards.
Cross Counter and Marmelo (both of whom we have been following extensively through our reports) plus Prince Of Arran – who is about to return to the racetrack, will be welcome returnees.
Of extreme interest will be the weight allotment/handicap each horse will receive in light of last year, their form since, and the scrutiny in which VRC Handicapper Greg Carpenter will apply his judgement.
Much has been said about the handicap provisions, some calling it biased in favour of the raiders while local horses get whacked unfairly.
Stradivarius puts them away.. again
It’s deja vu once again, as champion stayer Stradivarius put his rivals to the sword for the third time this season in Tuesdays just completed Goodwood Cup (3219m, Group 1).
Without question, the five year old is the world’s best stayer, and continues to rack up records and prize money along the way.
Notwithstanding, the one million pound bonus if he can land the next target, the Lonsdale Cup raced in a few weeks.
This year’s program was the same as last year, a very lucrative one at that.
Following in his wake was the Mark Johnson trained Dee Ex Bee and Charlie Appleby’s Cross Counter.
It was a very wet day at Goodwood so it didn’t suit some of the runners, plus it was a strung out race with leader, the three year old Wells Farhh Go setting a merry chase.
The result now confirms a pathway forward for some horses who have franked some form behind the world’s best stayer.
This may include a trip to Melbourne. We know that at least one is confirmed: Cross Counter.
Let’s not forget the Waller camp
The Chris Waller stable should be firing by the time the big staying races arrive on the calendar.
The recent winner of the Sydney trainers premiership for the 2018/2019 season, Waller will have a decent swag of stayers in contention for the Caulfield and Melbourne Cups. These include:
- Count Octave
- Verry Elleegant
A program hasn’t been outlined for any of these five horses as yet, but we’ll keep everyone up to date as the Chris Waller Racing operation is very good with its newsletter updates.
Horse profile of the week
If you are a train spotter of the Melbourne Cup, then the name Dermot Weld should ring bells for you.
The popular Irishman has trained the winner of the Melbourne Cup twice previously, first with Vintage Crop (1993) then secondly with Media Puzzle (2002).
He also had another decent galloper that same year called Vinnie Roe.
Now in 2019, he has a lightly raced three year old stayer in Falcon Eight who is making steady progress.
Trained in Ireland, the promising galloper was seen four weeks ago at Sandown, where he won the Coral Marathon (3200m) ridden by Frankie Dettori, prevailing over Mekong and Ryan Moore with Cleonte back in third place.
A Galileo colt, he’s had five runs for three wins, a second and a third. Weld has a big opinion of his charge, and whether he can make it down under this year remains to be seen.
If he did make it, he would get in well at the weights. If not, he could revert to the Irish St Leger and build toward next year. He’s another to keep safe.
Falcon Eight is currently priced at $21 on the SportsBet all-in market, see link below.
Latest all-in market from SportsBet
I know it’s not rocket science when you observe the preliminary all-in market for the Melbourne Cup.
But, whoever frames this market is obviously having punters on by including definite no shows like Mystic Journey, Extra Brut (now sold to Hong Kong), Stradivarius and Crystal Ocean. Surely this is the equivalent of false advertising?
The fact that the first dozen or so horses are from the UK/Europe and only the odd exception has won a Group 1 staying race, suggests to me that a bit of blinkered opinion has been liberally applied.
Quite how UK and European Group 2 or 3 class gallopers dominate the local market is beyond me, even if it is at the pre nominations stage.
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