Godolphin has tentatively locked in their Melbourne Cup team, with classy stayers Holberg and Campanologist being aimed at the $6 million race.
Godolphin racing manager Simon Crisford confirmed to Just Horse Racing that both horses were being specifically trained for the Melbourne Cup.
While reluctant to confirm they will be in Melbourne, it is looking increasingly likely that the world’s largest racing stable will be represented down under.
Both horses look to be likely to get a run – Campanologist has 56kg and is 7th in the order of entry, while Holberg has 53.5kg and is 37th in the order.
Campanologist is a classy galloper who is coming off two Group 1 wins in Germany over 2400m in July and August.
Throughout his career, he has form against top class gallopers like Conduit, Schiaparelli, Bankable, Red Rocks, Dar Re Mi, Buena Vista and Quijano.
However, he is inconsistent at times, with poor runs seemingly coming from out of the blue. He has been better this year though.
Holberg is a lightly raced horse who has only had 11 starts.
His best victory was at Royal Ascot last year when he won a strong Queen’s Vase (3200m), which featured subsequent English St Leger winner Mastery.
He started this year with a bang, defeating fellow Melbourne Cup entrant Manighar and Lonsdale Cup winner Opinion Poll by six lengths.
However, he was slightly disappointing against Irish St Leger winner Sans Frontieres at his next start, before running a strong 2nd to Laaheb in the Group 3 September Stakes last start.
He has been looking for more distance, and the Melbourne Cup should suit perfectly.
Campanologist and Holberg join one of the strongest international contingents in memory, with representatives from the UK, Ireland, UAE, France, Japan and Hong Kong to be seen in Melbourne.
Manighar, Becqu Adoree, Drunken Sailor, Stanstill, Americain, Drunken Sailor and Tokai Trick will have a lead up run before the Melbourne Cup.
Rite of Passage, Profound Beauty, Sans Frontieres, Campanologist and Holberg will only race in the Cup.
A strong local contingent is also likely, with the likes of Shocking, Shoot Out, So You Think, Monaco Consul, Metal Bender, Rebel Raider, Dariana and Moudre high up in markets.
If it holds up, it is likely to be the strongest Melbourne Cup in recent memory.
Written by Andrew Hawkins