Internationals plan for 2011 Cox Plate
The spring carnival may still be four months away, but international trainers are already beginning to plan for an assault on the feature races, including the Melbourne Cup and Cox Plate.
Racing Victoria’s international scout Leigh Jordon has returned from a trip to Asia, where he visited potential spring carnival candidates in Singapore, Hong Kong and Japan.
Just Horse Racing spoke to him upon his return.
Jordon is most excited about Hong Kong trainer, expatriate Australian John Moore, who he believes is set to bring a horse to the spring carnival for the first time.
“John is very keen to come this year, as he has been every year,” Jordon said.
“However, I think this will be the year he comes, he has plenty of ammunition.”
Jordon says he is likely to bring at least one horse to Melbourne but he could potentially have three representatives.
As has been reported here before, Champions Mile winner Xtension is to be set for the Cox Plate while Champions and Chater Cup winner Mighty High will be aimed at the Melbourne Cup.
However, Jordon also says multiple Group 1 placegetter Irian is to be trained with the Caulfield Cup in mind.
South African trainer Herman Brown may bring two horses to Australia, both for controversial owner Ramzan Kadyrov.
Gitano Hernando was being touted as a Melbourne Cup candidate before his upset win in the Singapore International Cup two weeks ago, while Brown is also considering the prospects of Coolmore castoff Mikhail Glinka.
Mikhail Glinka was an impressive winner of the Group 3 Queen’s Vase (3200m) at Royal Ascot last year and campaigned in Dubai earlier this year.
Jordon says Brown is very keen to return to Melbourne after preparing Mourilyan to run third in the 2009 Melbourne Cup behind Shocking.
Mr Kadyrov, the president of Chechnya, also owned Mourilyan.
Kadyrov’s participation sparked protests from The Greens, with leader Bob Brown calling him a “blood-soaked dictator” undeserving of Melbourne Cup success.
Much of the same can be expected this time.
Jordon is concerned about Japanese participation in the spring carnival.
“Most of their really good horses are around the 2000m to 2400m range, and they are the sorts of horses that will stay in Japan for the Japan Cup and the Tenno Sho (Autumn),” Jordon explained.
“The main horses we were targeting, like Forgettable and Makani Bisty, disappointed in the Group 2 Meguro Kinen (2500m) a couple of weeks ago.
“We’ll have to regroup and see what happens.”
Outside of the main features, the $1m Group 1 Patinack Farm Classic (1200m) promises to be a race for the ages.
Much of the focus in the past week has been on whether the connections of Black Caviar may head overseas instead of running in this race.
However, the connections of Singapore speedster Rocket Man are still hoping to come to Australia.
“The trainer (Patrick Shaw) and owner (Fred Crabbia) will be in Melbourne later this month to examine quarantine issues,” Jordon said.
“This is a major issue for them and it will be the major stumbling block to overcome.”
In other international news, Americain will have an unusual lead up to his defence of his Melbourne Cup crown.
The French galloper will have two starts over 3000m at Deauville before tackling the Cox Plate as his final lead up for the Cup.
Meanwhile, Godolphin are looking to target the Patinack Farm Classic, potentially with the well performed Delegator.
Delegator will have his next start in the Group 1 Golden Jubilee Stakes (1200m) at Royal Ascot, with a win making him eligible for the Patinack bonus.
Written by Andrew Hawkins