Racing Victoria’s international scout Leigh Jordon sees the injection of funds into Caulfield Guineas day as the catalyst for a large contingent of overseas-trained runners at the meeting.
There are two complexes housing international runners for this year’s spring carnival at Werribee racecourse.
The Newminster complex houses the largest group currently undergoing quarantine.
Calderon will race for local trainer Tony McEvoy when he leaves the smaller complex, named after 1993 Melbourne Cup winner Vintage Crop, on Saturday for the Caulfield Stakes.
That complex will then house five European horses arriving on Saturday afternoon for the Melbourne Cup 2017.
The eight representing the Newminster complex are Wall Of Fire, Kidmenever, Mask Of Time, Fastnet Tempest, Johannes Vermeer, Riven Light, The Taj Mahal and Kaspersky.
Jordon said the increase in prize money for the Caulfield Stakes, the Toorak Handicap and the Herbert Power Stakes, brought interest from international connections.
“I think the most we’ve had on Caulfield Guineas day before is two runners,” Jordon said.
“I think one of the main reasons is putting on the Toorak Handicap worth half-a-million dollars, the Caulfield Stakes worth a million, which has attracted good runners, and the Herbert Power at $400,000.
“Being Caulfield Guineas day, up against The Everest (in Sydney), it’s a great pat on the back for the (Melbourne Racing) Club to extract all this international attention.”
Jordon said it was disappointing the two meetings had to go up against each other, resulting in a split of leading jockeys between Melbourne and Sydney.
“Caulfield Guineas day is one of the best day’s racing in Australia,” Jordon said.
“Having a split and to not have some of the big name jockeys at Caulfield is disappointing.
“The good thing for the punter is they’ll get to see eight of the internationals have a run and they’ll get a gauge on where they sit for future spring races.”
Another of those in quarantine in the Newminster stable, the Godolphin-owned Folkswood, is set to run in Sunday’s Cranbourne Cup, providing he doesn’t draw a poor barrier.
European-trained runners engaged at the Caulfield Guineas meeting on Saturday
* Herbert Power Stakes (2400m) Group Two – 2.05pm: Wall Of Fire (trainer Hugo Palmer) jockey Mark Zahra (barrier 9) 58kg, Kidmenever (Charlie Appleby) Glyn Schofield (8) 55.5
* Weekend Hussler Stakes (1400m) Listed – 2.40pm: Mask Of Time (Hugo Palmer) Luke Currie (2) 54, Fastnet Tempest (William Haggas) Dean Yendall (1) 54
* Caulfield Stakes (2000m) Group One – 3.50pm: Johannes Vermeer (Aidan O’Brien) Katelyn Mallyon (6) 59, Riven Light (Willie Mullins) Glen Boss (4) 59, The Taj Mahal (Aidan O’Brien) Damien Oliver (2) 56.5
* Toorak Handicap (1600m) Group One – 5.10pm: Kaspersky (Jane Chapple-Hyam) Luke Nolen (3) 56, Mask Of Time (emergency) (Hugo Palmer) Daniel Moor (1) 52
* Mask Of Time needs a scratching from the Toorak Handicap to gain a start, otherwise he will run in the Weekend Hussler