Prolific English trainer Luca Cumani has vowed to return to Australia to win the Melbourne Cup, with a number of horses under consideration for a trip down under.
Cumani confirmed to Just Horse Racing that the two most likely to make a trip to Melbourne are Manighar and Drunken Sailor.
Manighar, a European four year old, was purchased by Simon O’Donnell’s OTI Racing at the start of this year with the Melbourne Cup in mind.
Previously trained by Alain de Royer-Dupre in France, Manighar has won three of his seven starts and only missed a place once.
He has form around top European stayers Ask and Schiaparelli, and two starts back easily accounted for 2007 Melbourne Cup seventh Blue Monday.
Drunken Sailor is a much more seasoned galloper, having had thirty starts for eight wins and eleven minor placings.
His last two starts have netted two seconds, in the Northumberland Plate (Britain’s richest two mile handicap) and the John Smith’s Silver Cup over 2800m.
As a result, he will be heading to the Ebor Handicap at York on August 18, with a good result likely to see him on a plane to Australia.
However, Cumani refused to rule out a trip for his previous placegetters Purple Moon (2007) and Bauer (2008).
Purple Moon’s owner, Craig Bennett, is said to be warming to another trip to the Melbourne Cup, having run second to Efficient three years ago.
Since his Melbourne Cup second, Purple Moon has run a place in many major races around the world, including the Hong Kong Vase, Dubai Sheema Classic and the Ascot Gold Cup.
Bauer is returning after a long layoff following an injury suffered in training last year. A return to Melbourne would depend on the gelding recapturing his best form.
He was second to Viewed in one of the tightest photo finishes ever seen in a Melbourne Cup.
Written by Andrew Hawkins