Along with our talent that has been typically proven abroad, are the foreign sprinters and stayers that have been tested down under. With 2 runners tried abroad in this weekend’s Group 1 Coolmore Classic, we take a look at some of the best-performed visitors in recent times.
10. Ventura Storm (Ireland)
Won 6 races abroad including the Group 1 Premio JC at San Siro in Italy. Yet to win in Australia however twice placed at Group 1 level, beating Humidor in the Turnbull Stakes before a recent 3rd placing in the Australia Stakes at Flemington.
9. Harlem (Great Britain)
Had a big run on debut here behind Palentino and Tosen Stardom before winning the Group 3 Naturalism Stakes at Caulfield in September last year. Certainly a hot and cold runner however, Harlem has been a prominent blackbooker coming out of some starts but lost a of admirers when well beaten as the hot favourite in the Lexus Stakes. The 6-year-old most recently won the Group 1 Australia Cup, having 8 starts abroad between 2015 and 2016.
8. Tosen Stardom (Japan)
Another recent Group 1 winner, Tosen Stardom began his career in devastating fashion with 3 consecutive victories at Kyoto. It is the second visit to Australia by the 7-year-old, running in 2 Group 1 races in Sydney back in 2015, finishing runner up to Contributor on debut here. The Darren Weir trained galloper won 2 Group 1’s last year.
7. Gailo Chop (France)
Missed a place just twice in 12 goes around the UK and France, winning 7 races between 2013 and 2015. The 7-year-old gelding won a Group 1 at Flemington in just his second start here, also going on to win the Group 1 Caulfield Stakes last year.
6. Brave Smash (Japan)
Won 2 in Japan before placing in his Australian debut behind Vega Magic at Caulfield, winning at Moonee Valley next start. Another classy import trained by Darren Weir, Brave Smash would go on to be placed in the $10,000,000 Everest and take out his first Group 1 in the Futurity Stakes at Caulfield.
5. Humidor (New Zealand)
Could be the next big superstar in Australian racing after wins in the Group 1 Australia Cup and Makybe Diva Stakes. Though a dual Group 1 winner, his most impressive run was arguably a second-placing behind Winx in the 2017 Cox Plate. Won 4 in NZ before coming over.
4. Who Shot Thebarman (New Zealand)
Veteran and crowd favorite the Barman was a Group 1 winner in New Zealand before making his Australian debut in the Group 1 Sydney Cup in 2014. Has run in 3 consecutive Melbourne Cups and much to his fan’s delight was the Group 2 Moonee Valley Cup winner in October last year.
3. Redkirk Warrior (Great Britain)
Just won back-to-back Group 1 Newmarket Handicaps as well as the Black Caviar Lightning Stakes in February with unbelievable sectionals. Recently beat sprint champion Redzel and potentially has more room for improvement. Everest winner in best form who began his career in the UK before a number of runs at Sha Tin, ultimately finding his feet in the land down under.
2. Hartnell (Great Britain)
The 7-year-old Godolphin runner started his career in the UK back in 2013 before making his Australia debut at Warwick Farm in 2015. Won a Group 1 in just his 3rd start here and has since gone on to win 2 more including the C.F. Orr in February this year.
1. Almandin (Germany)
You can’t go past a Melbourne Cup winner. Looked as though he would go back to back when winning the Listed JRA Trophy by almost 3 lengths at Flemington last year. The 8-year-old beat Protectionist in his last run overseas before coming to Australia, and has run 2nd and 4th in 2 runs in 2018.