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The European flat season is in full swing, and with that being the case, connections from there and indeed Australia will have eyes on their runners as potential candidates for the Spring Carnival down under later this year.

Here at Justhorseracing, we’ve put together a preview of key runners likely to make the trip for the big races.

The Big 3 Races:

Caulfield Cup πŸ†: View the latest Caulfield Cup odds

Cox Plate 🍽: View the latest Cox Plate odds

Melbourne Cup πŸ†: View the latest Melbourne Cup odds

Marmelo

Breeding: Makfi x Minkova
Trainer: Hughie Morrison
Nationality: British
Career Stats: 22: 7-8-1
Min/Max Distance Wins: 2414m/3000m
Career Best Win: Prix Kergolay, August 18 2019, Deauville, Heavy Surface
Dry Track Stats: 13: 4-5-1
Wet Track Stats: 9: 3-3-0
Target Race(s): Melbourne Cup
Short Summary: Third time luck in the great race?

Melbourne Cup (3200m), November 6 2018, Flemington, Anti-Clockwise Direction, Heavy Surface

Plenty of controversy about this run given that jockey Hugh Bowman weight in 1kg overweight, with some saying that cost him the win. Trained Hughie Morrison disagreed, saying that the horse hitting the front too early cost him the win. But in those conditions, it was a mighty effort in defeat in one of the more testing Melbourne Cups in recent memory. Outstanding run.

To view the replay click here.

Prix Kergolay (3000m), August 18 2019, Deauville, Clockwise Direction, Heavy Surface

Just loved this win. Sat off what looked a decent enough tempo before Soumillon eased him wider on the turn looking for better ground and he lengthened beautifully to win impressively in a race which had good depth to it and confirmed his ticket on the plane to Melbourne for another crack at the great race.

To view the replay click here.

Final Summary: Morrison has got the formula right with him I think. Fresh, give in the track, patient ride and ambush them late, as we saw when he won at Newbury, his first run since the Melbourne Cup. Normally I pen horses who have previously ran in the Cup without winning and they’re trying again. But he was just so good last year and in 2017 when favourite, he was ridden far too close to the speed. If he brings his best and gets conditions to suit, he’ll take some beating.

 

Prince Of Arran

Breeding: Shirocco x Stormng Sioux
Trainer: Charlie Fellowes
Nationality: British
Career Stats: 35: 5-7-4
Min/Max Distance Wins: 1600m/3200m
Career Best Win: Lexus Stakes, November 3 2018, Flemington, Good Surface
Dry Track Stats: 27: 5-6-3
Wet Track Stats: 7: 0-1-1
Target Race(s): Melbourne Cup
Short Summary: Got some good form behind world class horses…he’s in the game off the Lexus win.

Melbourne Cup (3200m), November 6 2018, Flemington, Anti-Clockwise Direction, Heavy Surface

He was mighty in defeat. Another that hit the front too early and jockey Michael Walker did say that post race. Wish he just waited a touch longer to push the button and believes he would have won if he had done that. His best form is on dry ground but this was a clear career best on a near bottomless surface and it took a couple of high class stayers to get past him.

To view the replay click here.

September Stakes (2419m), September 7 2019, Kempton Park, Clockwise Direction, Synthetic Surface

His opening few runs for the year were concerning, but he showed something positive here in a race that included Caulfield Cup winner Best Solution. Got the split via the cutaway and stuck on well for third in what looked an okay race on paper, nothing deep re class, but it was good to see him run better as he heads to Melbourne again.

To view the replay click here.

Final Summary: As it stands now, I can’t see Prince Of Arran beating Marmelo home in a Melbourne Cup. Marmelo comfortably beat home Old Persian in the Coronation Cup and that horse beat Prince Of Arran at Meydan. It was a wonderful story last year with Charlie Fellowes and the breath of fresh air he was for the Carnival. Would love to see the horse get back to his best. But rather watch than back him at this stage.

 

Torcedor

Breeding: Fastnet Rock x Magnolia Lane
Trainer: Andreas Wohler
Nationality: British/German
Career Stats: 23: 5-6-2
Min/Max Distance Wins: 2414m/3000m
Career Best Win: Sagarro Stakes, May 2 2018, Ascot, Soft Surface
Dry Track Stats: 13: 2-2-2
Wet Track Stats: 10: 3-4-0
Target Race(s): Melbourne Cup
Short Summary: Got the form on the board to win a Melbourne Cup. Just need to see him do it in 2019.

Goodwood Cup (3215m), July 31 2018, Good, Clockwise Direction, Good Surface

This was the run that confirmed he was a serious Melbourne Cup contender last year. To push a world class horse like Stradivarius throughout just speaks volumes of how good he was going at that time, getting a lovely front running ride from Jamie Spencer and fighting hard but the class of Stradivarius kicked in and he was too good but clearly beat the rest in a very good effort.

To view the replay click here.

Steher Cup (2800m), August 29 2019, Baden-Baden, Anti-Clockwise Direction, Good Surface

I think first up, he needed the run, so happy to forgive that. I have no idea what to make of this run. He looked to get involved in a speed battle, but gee he threw in the towel rather quickly when headed and that’s three poor runs on the bounce now, so has to be a worry should he make the trip to Melbourne.

To view the replay click here.

Final Summary: If you can forgive his past few, he’s a world class stayer in his own right with the form next to his name. Owner Jamie Lovett was very bullish about his chances prior to the start of the prep but this time in, he’s done nothing and at the moment, I couldn’t touch him from a punting perspective in the Melbourne Cup.

 

Amade

Breeding: Casamento x Sheba Five
Trainer: Alessandro Botti
Nationality: Irish
Career Stats: 11: 6-2-1
Min/Max Distance Wins: 3000m/3400m
Career Best Win: Belmont Gold Cup, June 7 2019, Belmont, Firm Surface
Dry Track Stats: 11: 6-2-1
Wet Track Stats: Untried
Target Race(s): Melbourne Cup
Short Summary: In form stayer doing a bit wrong but still getting the job done.

Handicap (3200m), March 7 2019, Chelmsford City, Anti-Clockwise Direction, Soft Surface

Didn’t beat much, but loved the way he found the line under Atzeni to put them away rather impressively over the concluding stages. On paper didn’t beat a great deal, mainly just midweek class horses, but the runner up did win his next start and the third has been close up in his next two subsequent outings, so there is a bit of substance to this form reference.

To view this replay click here.

Belmont Gold Cup (3200m), June 7 2019, Belmont Park, Anti-Clockwise Direction, Firm Surface

This race over the last couple of years has produced Red Cardinal and Prince Of Arran so it’s been somewhat of a guide for Melbourne Cup punters. Amade was always in control of this race and once he was presented clear air, it was all over and he won most impressively. As you’ll see in the replay, did wobble a bit when asked but was always holding on to win.

To view this replay click here.

Final Summary: Recent purchase for OTI and will come down under for the Melbourne Cup. I’d say on overall form, will need to improve, but off the replays, 3200m will be no issue at all and is heading in the right direction.

 

Django Freeman

Breeding: Campanologist x Donna Lavinia
Trainer: Henk Grewe
Nationality: German
Career Stats: 6: 3-3-0
Min/Max Distance Wins: 1400m/2000m
Career Best Win: Bavarian Stakes, May 1 2019, Munich, ? Surface
Dry Track Stats: 6: 3-3-0
Wet Track Stats:
Target Race(s): Caulfield Cup
Short Summary: Lightly raced stayer owned in similar interests to Schabau.

Bavarian Classic (2000m), May 1 2019, Munich, Anti-Clockwise Direction, ? Surface

Liked this win. Sat off what looked a reasonable tempo before edging wider and though in a struggle early on in the straight, he clicked into gear when it mattered and won impressively. Form out of that has been ticked off with the runner up winning a Group lll in Longchamp next start.

To view this replay click here.

German Derby (2400m), July 7 2019, Hamburg, Clockwise Direction, ? Surface

He ran second here and it was an excellent run. Wasn’t far off the speed throughout and presented to win the race at the top of the straight, looking the winner for the most part, but just found on better in Liccario, but still a huge tick given this race has been won by some champions in the past.

To view this replay click here.

Final Summary: He is now in Australia and Robert Hickmott will train. I dare say the Caulfield Cup will be the likely race for him and Hickmott does have a great record at these stayers. Only have to look at his record when training at Macedon Lodge and what he did with Schabau. Really interesting to see what path this horse takes.

 

Danceteria

Breeding: Redoute’s Choice x Bal De La Rose
Trainer: David Menuisier
Nationality: French
Career Stats: 16: 7-0-2
Min/Max Distance Wins: 1600m/2000m
Career Best Win: La Coupe Stakes, June 10 2019, Longchamp, Good Surface
Dry Track Stats: 15: 6-0-2
Wet Track Stats: 1: 1-0-0
Target Race(s): Cox Plate
Short Summary: One of many internationals to target the Cox Plate post Winx.

Eclipse Stakes (2000m), July 6 2019, Sandown, Clockwise Direction, Good Surface

He was given no chance of figuring in the finish behind the world’s best in Enable, but despite starting $51+, he ran an enormous race, closing off with purpose late to run fourth to the champion mare and 200m after the line, he was alongside her. Outstanding run in what was a world class race.

To view this replay click here.

Preis Bayerisches Zuchtrennen (2000m), July 28 2019, Munich, Anti-Clockwise Direction, Soft Surface

This win ensured an invite for the Cox Plate. Speaking to part owner Jamie Lovett the following day, he told me that jockey Jamie Spencer told him that the horse hated the wet ground and that it was class that got him home, which is such a good sign for a horse when they can overcome difficulties and still get the job done.

To view this replay click here.

Final Summary: He’s got the invite and he’s a serious contender. It’s clear he’s got a turn of foot, a lethal one, and he’ll arrive here in Group l winning form. He’ll run in the Caulfield Stakes leading into the Cox Plate and Jamie Spencer will ride the horse in both races.

 

Mustajeer

Breeding: Medicean x Qelaan
Trainer: Kris Lees
Nationality: British/Australian
Career Stats: 19: 4-3-3
Min/Max Distance Wins: 1600m/2787m
Career Best Win: Ebor Handicap, August 24 2019, York, Good Surface
Dry Track Stats: 11: 1-2-2
Wet Track Stats: 8: 3-1-1
Target Race(s): Melbourne Cup
Short Summary: High up in the Melbourne Cup market. I have my doubts.

Curragh Cup (2800m), June 28 2019, Curragh, Clockwise Direction, Good Surface

This race produced the 2017 Melbourne Cup winner Rekindling and the 2019 edition of the Curragh Cup looks like it will have an influence on the 2019 Melbourne Cup with several runners potentially heading to Melbourne from this race, including Mustajeer, who ran fifth but in another stride he runs third and I thought it was an excellent run in a high class race.

To view this replay click here.

Ebor Handicap (2787m), August 24 2019, York, Anti-Clockwise Direction, Good Surface

Gee this was a ripping steer from Colin Keane. The track pattern said outside fence was the place to be, so he cut the corner and saved plenty of ground before eventually finding better ground out wide and he found plenty under pressure to score and confirmed his ticket to Melbourne for the big Handicaps.

To view this replay click here.

Final Summary: Now with Kris Lees and does hold nominations for both the Caulfield and Melbourne Cup, but the latter is the one the owners are keen on winning. The Curragh Cup looks an excellent form reference, but most seem to be jumping up and down about the Ebor. The Ebor, overall, has bee a rubbish form reference for the Melbourne Cup, so I think the Curragh Cup is the form line you want to be looking at.

 
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