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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.


Breeding: Makfi x Minkova
Trainer: Hughie Morrison
Nationality: British
Career Stats: 19: 6-7-1
Min/Max Distance Wins: 2414m/3000m
Career Best Win: Chester Cup, August 20 2017, Deauville, Good Surface
Dry Track Stats: 13: 4-5-1
Wet Track Stats: 6: 2-2-0
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.

Coronation Cup (2400m), May 31 2019, Epsom, Anti-Clockwise Direction, Good Surface

This was a high class affair with some world class stayers engaged and Marmelo, on dry ground, just lacks the brilliance to go with them but he stayed on very well in defeat behind Defoe over a trip which is clearly short of his preferred. But he did beat home the likes of Lah Ti Dar and Old Persian, the latter being one of the form stayers in Dubai before coming to the UK.

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: 32: 5-6-4
Min/Max Distance Wins: 1600m/3200m
Career Best Win: Lexus Stakes, November 3 2018, Flemington, Good Surface
Dry Track Stats: 25: 5-5-3
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.

Dubai Gold Cup (3200m), March 30 2019, Meydan, Anti-Clockwise Direction, Good Surface

Worrying run this was. He was very good the run prior behind Old Persian over 2400m before contesting this race where he looked to travel really well outside the leader before putting it away. Then the Blue Army of Cross Counter and Ispolini moved to him and he gave in rather meekly I thought, putting up the white flag almost immediately when headed.

To view the replay click here.

Final Summary: As it stands now, now being June 15 when writing this up, 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.



Breeding: Fastnet Rock x Magnolia Lane
Trainer: Andreas Wohler
Nationality: British/German
Career Stats: 21: 5-6-2
Min/Max Distance Wins: 2414m/3000m
Career Best Win: Sagarro Stakes, May 2 2018, Ascot, Soft Surface
Dry Track Stats: 11: 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. 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.

Preis Von Europa (2400m), September 23 2018, Cologne, Clockwise Direction, Soft Surface

Just wanted to show this run to show why he didn’t eventually come over for the Cup last year. He pulled up very sore from this run and officially, the track was rated soft, but it looked like an absolute cow paddock and he was one of many to struggle to pick their feet up. Pulled up sore from that and plans to come for the Melbourne Cup were aborted and he was sent for a spell.

To view the replay click here.

Final Summary: If you can forgive that last start, he’s a world class stayer in his own right with the form next to his name. Speaking to Jamie Lovett around a month ago, he told me that Wohler was very happy with how the horse has come back and will have 1-2 runs, likely in Germany, before coming to Melbourne for the Cup where he will be hard to beat if he runs to his best.


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, he now likely heads to the Prix Kergolay and all things being equal, 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: 5: 3-2-0
Min/Max Distance Wins: 1400m/2000m
Career Best Win: Bavarian Stakes, May 1 2019, Munich, ? Surface
Dry Track Stats: ?
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.

Union Rennen (2200m), June 10 2019, Cologne, Clockwise Direction, ? Surface

This is the lead up to the German Derby and I thought he stuck on really well in defeat. Was asked to chase a fair way out and was one paced early, but picked up and liked the way he finished off in what looks a strong race.

To view this replay click here.

Final Summary: His next start will be the German Derby before being sent to 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.


Breeding: Redoute’s Choice x Bal De La Rose
Trainer: David Menuisier
Nationality: French
Career Stats: 14: 6-0-2
Min/Max Distance Wins: 1600m/2000m
Career Best Win: La Coupe Stakes, June 10 2019, Longchamp, Good Surface
Dry Track Stats: 14: 6-0-2
Wet Track Stats: Untried
Target Race(s): Cox Plate
Short Summary: One of many internationals to target the Cox Plate post Winx.

Prix Jacque Laffitte (1800m), April 11 2019, Maisons Laffitte, Clockwise Direction, Good Surface

This was some win. Looked an ugly watch for the most part but Guyon got on the back of the eventual runner up and sliced his way through, getting clear air with 150m to go and he charged to the line to win impressively. Subsequent form of the racer has been a number of runs for a few placings, but no wins, but the way he sprinted when clear was something to like alot.

To view this replay click here.

La Coupe Stakes (2000m), June 10 2019, Longchamp, Clockwise Direction, Good Surface

Sit/sprint affair, but again, impressive. Sat back off the slow speed and probably wasn’t entitled to win given that, but he peeled out under Jamie Spencer and was an outstanding winner, clocking sub 22 for his final 400m.

To view this replay click here.

Final Summary: He will be one of many internationals I dare say that will target the Cox Plate now that the Winx era is done and dusted. It’s clear he’s got a turn of foot, a lethal one, and despite the form guide saying he hasn’t been tried on wet ground, a few of those wins, including the Maisons Laffitte win, was on a track which was rated Good/Soft. He’s a worthy contender.

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