A host of international horses are entered to make their first Australian appearances of the Melbourne spring carnival in feature races on the Caulfield Guineas program.
Along with the respective Guineas races on Saturday, the meeting includes the Group One Caulfield Stakes (2000m) and Group Two Herbert Power Stakes (2400m) in which a number of international runners are entered.
The entries for the weight-for-age Caulfield Stakes feature Cox Plate invitee Danceteria who races in the colours of Australian Bloodstock and is prepared by English-based French trainer David Menuisier.
Fourth to champion Enable in the Group One Eclipse Stakes at Sandown in England two starts ago, Danceteria earned an invitation from the Moonee Valley Racing Club to the Cox Plate (2040m) at The Valley on October 26 after his last-start Group One win over 2000m at Munich in Germany on July 28.
Saeed Bin Suroor won last year’s Caulfield Stakes with Benbatl who then finished second to Winx in the Cox Plate, and the Godolphin trainer has nominated Dream Castle and Royal Meeting this year.
One of the global Godolphin operation’s locally trained stars, the James Cummings-trained Avilius, was the early $2 favourite for the 2019 Caulfield Stakes on Monday ahead of Homesman ($3.50) and Danceteria ($6).
Japanese horse Suzuka Devious is another international Caulfield Stakes entrant while former Aidan O’Brien-trained Cape Of Good Hope, who has now joined the Lindsay Park stable, is in line to make his Australian debut.
Cranbourne trainers Trent Busuttin and Natalie Young have nominated import Mirage Dancer, who is high up in markets for the 2019 Caulfield Cup the following week.
Saturday’s Group Two Herbert Power (2400m) offers a ballot exemption to the $5 million Caulfield Cup (2400m) and four internationals figure among the 18 nominations including last year’s Melbourne Cup placegetter Prince Of Arran.
The other internationals among the Herbert Power entries are the John Hammond-trained Haky, Willie Mullins-trained True Self and William Haggas-trained Raheen House while the Menuisier-trained Chief Ironside has been nominated for the Group One Toorak Handicap (1600m) and the Listed Weekend Hussler Stakes.