Sitting at home watching the Melbourne Cup on television is something Darren Dance says is not a lot of fun.
As manager of Australian Thoroughbred Bloodstock (ATB), Dance did not have a runner in last year’s Cup for the first time in five years.
This year ATB is back with part-ownership of Irish stayer Heartbreak City.
Dance went after a share in Heartbreak City following his win in the Ebor at York in August.
“This was one of the horses that was on our radar for a while,” Dance said.
“There wasn’t a big pool to look around at this year and a lot of the horses were owned by Godolphin, Coolmore or the sheikhs.
“When he won the Ebor, and Seismos was in that race and got beaten 10 lengths, it switched me on to him and I thought he’d be a genuine Melbourne Cup horse.
“This worked out well because the boys (Heartbreak City’s owners) had never been to Australia.
“It was pretty daunting and they wanted someone they could partner with through the process.”
Seismos ran ninth for ATB in the 2014 Cup and all runners, dating back to Unusual Suspect in 2011 with the exception of Tac De Boistron, have finished in the top 10 with Jakkalberry’s third place in 2012 its best finish.
“When you’re looking for a Cup runner you have to be sure it’s going to make the field and be competitive,” Dance said.
“I don’t want to going around running 22nd. I’d rather not have a runner.”
Dance said he would prefer to buy a Cup horse earlier in the year in the hope of a return on the investment before the Melbourne Cup.
“Dandino and Jakkalberry we both bought early,” Dance said.
“Jakkalberry, we only had three days and he ran third in the Sheema Classic in Dubai and we got all our money back.”
Already Dance is looking to the 2017 Cup and has a list of 74 prospective horses.
“We’ll add and delete to that as things change,” he said.
“It’s a full time project.”