The final four European contenders for the Melbourne Spring Carnival have arrived in Melbourne.
Last year’s Melbourne Cup victor Twilight Payment joined Spanish Mission, Away He Goes and Sir Lucan on the trip from Europe with all four entering two weeks quarantine at Werribee.
The quartet will continue their build-up towards the Group 1 Melbourne Cup (3200m) at Flemington on November 2 from the confines of the outer suburban racetrack.
Twilight Payment, Spanish Mission and Away He Goes are all guaranteed a start in the Melbourne Cup while Sir Lucan, who is joining the stables of Gai Waterhouse and Adrian Bott, is 47th in the ballot order and needs a number of horses to fall by the wayside to secure a start.
The latest TAB market has Spanish Mission as the $8 second elect behind $5 favourite Incentivise with Twilight Payment on the third line at $11.
Away He goes is a $15 chance while Sir Lucan is rated a $51 hope.
In 2020 Twilight Payment delivered a second victory in the Melbourne Cup for Joseph O’Brien, and the northern hemisphere eight-year-old arguably enters this year’s contest in better form, having won the Group 3 Irish St Leger Trial before running second in the Group 1 Irish St Leger last start.
Trained by Andrew Balding, Spanish Mission has been in excellent form this year, winning the Group 2 Yorkshire Cup Stakes followed by placings in both the Group 1 Ascot Gold Cup and the Group 2 Lonsdale Cup, beaten a head by Stradivarius.
Two starts back, Away He Goes, trained by Ismail Mohammed, finished runner-up in the Group 1 Goodwood Cup over the Melbourne Cup distance whilst Sir Lucan is a lightly raced three-year-old whose biggest win came in the Listed Yeats Stakes in May.
After completing their two weeks of quarantine, the quartet will undergo a standing CT scan before being granted approval to race.
Their arrival brings the number of Werribee residents to six, with Twilight Payment’s stablemate State Of Rest and Gold Trip, trained by Ciaron Maher and David Eustace, having completed their quarantine ahead of the Group 1 Cox Plate (2040m) at The Valley on October 23.