Tony Martin hopes his Irish raider Heartbreak City wins the 2016 Melbourne Cup, not for the trainer himself, but in memory of his close friend George Swan.
Heartbreak City’s former owner died last November, three months after being diagnosed with cancer.
“I’d really love him to win for the man above,” Martin said.
“The man was only 50 years of age when he died of cancer.
“I think he’ll be looking down – whatever he does on Tuesday, I think he’ll be rooting for him.”
Martin, who bought Heartbreak City from France as a three-year-old, organised for three of Swan’s friends to buy the gelding after the Englishman’s death.
“It was very easy when George passed away to get the boys talking to the family to try to do something.”
Darren Dance’s Australian Thoroughbred Bloodstock recently acquired a major share in the Irish horse, with the Here For The Craic Partnership – a group of Irish expats based in New York – retaining an interest in the six-year-old.
Martin thought of chasing his first Melbourne Cup after Heartbreak City won the Ebor, Europe’s richest flat handicap, at York in August.
“As soon as he won at York that day he showed us he’s an exceptional horse,” Martin said.
“When he went to York and did what he did in York there was only one place we started thinking about.”
Martin couldn’t be happier with Heartbreak City’s preparation ahead of Tuesday.
He is not fazed by drawing barrier 23, saying the last mile of the race is more important than anything else.
Hong Kong’s champion jockey Joao Moreira will ride Heartbreak City, who mixes jumps and flat racing, on Tuesday.
Martin believes fellow Irishman Willie Mullins’ Wicklow Brave, who switched from jumps to flat racing last year, is the horse to beat.
“I think whatever beats him will win.”