Last year’s Ascot Gold Cup placegetter Brigantin will aim at the Melbourne Cup in November in an attempt to become the third French horse in three years to win the race that stops the nation.
Owners Team Valor confirmed on Twitter that the goal for the son of Cozzene is the feature at Flemington on the first Tuesday in November.
Last season, as a four year old, Brigantin finished one and a half lengths behind Dunaden in the Group 3 Prix de Barbeville (3100m), with Americain a further two lengths behind.
Next start, however, he managed to turn the tables on the eventual Melbourne Cup winner, defeating Dunaden by a short head in the Group 2 Prix Vicomtesse Vigier (3100m) at Longchamp.
He then ran third in the Ascot Gold Cup (4000m) behind Fame and Glory and was also a strong third in the Group 2 Prix Kergorlay (3000m), the hot form race when it came to last year’s Melbourne Cup.
Although all finished well behind Jukebox Jury, Brigantin beat home four of the first five placegetters in last year’s Melbourne Cup – Dunaden, Red Cadeaux, Americain and Manighar.
Team Valor’s founder Barry Irwin said in June that the 2012 Melbourne Cup was likely to be the aim for his galloper as opposed to last year’s Cup, as he felt the horse would benefit from a further 12 months of maturity.
He would be the first Australian runner for France’s top trainer Andre Fabre, who has prepared the likes of Soviet Star, Carnegie, Zafonic, Peintre Celebre, Hurricane Run and Pour Moi.