French galloper Brigantin is set to miss the Caulfield Cup, with the Geelong Cup firmly on the radar.
Andre Fabre’s charge will head to Geelong so preferred jockey Mickael Barzalona can ride him in both the Geelong Cup and the Melbourne Cup.
He will be riding at Champions Day at Ascot on October 20, meaning he cannot take the ride in the Caulfield Cup.
The baby-faced Barzalona, still just 21 years old, has ridden the winners of the Epsom Derby (Pour Moi), Dubai World Cup (Monterosso) and English St Leger (Encke) within the last 18 months.
Brigantin will be aiming to join Americain (2010) and Dunaden (2011) as a French-trained winner of the Geelong Cup – of course, both went on to win the Melbourne Cup.
The only other horse to win the Geelong Cup-Melbourne Cup double was Media Puzzle in 2002, although Bauer went close in 2008.
The likely change of tack was announced by Racing Victoria following trackwork at Werribee this morning, where the internationals continued their recovery following last Saturday’s arrival.
Turnbull Stakes weekend is traditionally the time when the Caulfield Cup picture becomes a lot clearer, with many horses having their final run prior to the big handicap.
This year is likely to be no exception, with a lot of the local chances running on Saturday, but the internationals have ensured the Caulfield Cup picture has changed constantly this week.
Americain is now likely to join Dunaden at Caulfield on October 20, with other international runners set to include Marco Botti’s Jakkalberry and Luca Cumani’s My Quest For Peace.
Tac de Boistron, now with Mick Kent, may head to the Caulfield Cup if there is rain around, otherwise he may join Brigantin at Geelong.
The two gallopers have clashed on four occasions, with Tac de Boistron finishing ahead of Brigantin three times.
Danny O’Brien’s new acquisition Prairie Star may also run at Caulfield, while John Gosden’s Gatewood will be out to secure a Caulfield Cup berth in the Group 2 Herbert Power Handicap (2400m) on October 13.
Dunaden, Jakkalberry and My Quest For Peace are the most fancied Caulfield Cup internationals, all at $21 with TAB Sportsbet, behind solid favourite December Draw ($9).