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As a syndicator of racehorses for 25 years Darren Dance has always considered the Melbourne Cup the Holy Grail.

But the director of Australian Thoroughbred Bloodstock didn’t consider it an immediate ambition until he had a heart attack in 2010.

He was lucky to survive, having driven himself to Ballarat hospital, falling in the doors of the emergency department where his heart stopped.

“They got me back on the third jump,” he said.

That episode brought Dance’s Melbourne Cup ambitions to the fore.

He started a worldwide search for suitable stayers and at Flemington on Tuesday Dance will see the eighth horse he has been involved with contest the Cup since 2011.

Jakkalberry, third in 2012, and Heartbreak City, second last year, have been his best results but with prize money paid down to 10th placing, there have been three other cheques.

“I thought I can’t wait until I’m 60 or 65 to do X, Y and Z so you make up your mind to get on with it,” Dance said.

“It made me realise that the Melbourne Cup, which was on our bucket list to try, we needed to get onto it now and get it under way.”

French horse Tiberian is his latest runner.

He sourced him last year with a view to running in the 2018 Melbourne Cup.

But the death of Heartbreak City and Tiberian’s form of four wins from his five races this year, sped the process up.

Tiberian has drawn barrier 23 on Tuesday, the same gate as Heartbreak City last year and Dance joked if he has another Cup runner next year he’ll go up and place the ATB logo on that barrier before the draw.

“It’s the second year in a row we’ve drawn 23 and we’ve drawn inside 20 only twice in the whole time,” Dance said.

“One of them was with Seismos and it really wasn’t a help to him.”

 
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