With numerous world’s best horses set to converge on Melbourne, global recruiting scout Leigh Jordon maintains that the spring carnival is now of world appeal.
Leading Australian trainer Darren Weir believes he has three or four realistic chances to repel the overseas invasion as he dreams of another Melbourne Cup and his first Caulfield Cup.
Weir has nominated 17 horses for the Melbourne Cup and 20 for the Caulfield Cup, including Japanese stayer Admire Deus.
“I guess I’m like a lot of owners – I dream a bit”, he said.
However, Jordon warned that racing in Victoria, including the country clubs, must remain vigilant in keeping racing relevant at the top end.
“I am very encouraged by the number of global trainers with entries who have not travelled to Melbourne before and we look forward to welcoming them here and showcasing what the Spring Racing Carnival has to offer”.
The Iain Jardine-trained six-year-old gained the biggest win of his career at York last Saturday and he is now in the frame to contest the “race that stops the nation” on November 7. Nominations have dropped from 170 to 142 for the Caulfield Cup.
Several of the worldwide contenders entered for the Melbourne Cup also hold the BMW Caulfield Cup entry – that race is on October 21.
Australia’s leading trainer Darren Weir has entered 20 horses, while Chris Waller nominated 10 for the Caulfield Cup and 13 for the Melbourne Cup.
The Ballarat trainer rates Australian Cup victor Humidor, one of four Weir-trained runners in Saturday’s $1 million Memsie Stakes, as the best among his local horses targeting the Caulfield Cup.
Francis Of Assisi and Qewy are among Appleby’s contenders, while Bin Suroor has Natural Scenery and Winning Story among his possibles.
Red Cardinal is prepared by 2014 Melbourne Cup victor Andreas Wohler and has stamped himself as a serious staying contender since transferring to Germany.
World champion trainer Aidan O’Brien has entered 2015 Irish St Leger victor Order Of St George for the Melbourne Cup and Johannes Vermeer and US Army Ranger for both cups.
O’Brien’s son, Joseph, could also have a starter, with the talented Rekindling being entered for the Melbourne Cup.
Japanese horse Albert, a victor of the group 2 Stayers Stakes (3600 metres), has been nominated for the Melbourne Cup by trainer Noriyuki Hori.