The internationalisation of the Melbourne Cup may almost be complete with connections of American horse Unusual Suspect tentatively suggesting that he could be sent for a crack at the race that stops the nation.
The San Gabriel Valley Tribune reports that trainer Barry Abrams is likely to set Unusual Suspect for the Melbourne Cup after his breakthrough Group 1 victory in the Group 1 Hollywood Turf Cup (2400m) overnight.
It was the stallion’s ninth win in 55 starts and his first victory in 2010.
Abrams said that Australia was a likely target as he would have more options at stud after the Melbourne Cup.
“He deserves to be a stallion, but in this country [United States] distance horses are not popular stallions,” he said.
Abrams said that Unusual Suspect was likely to head to Australia “in a couple of months.”
It is not clear whether he will remain under Abrams’ care or whether he will transfer to an Australian trainer if he does come here.
In 2008, American allowance class horse Tacit Agreement joined the Danny O’Brien stable, but performed poorly and was last seen running last in last year’s Broome Cup.
Racing Victoria’s international scout and manager of racing operations Leigh Jordon has publicly stated that the final frontier for the Melbourne Cup would be to entice American horses for the race.
To date, horses from the United Kingdom, Ireland, Hong Kong, Singapore, South Africa, France, Germany, United Arab Emirates and Japan have contested the Melbourne Cup.
Four international horses have won the race – Vintage Crop (Ireland, 1993), Media Puzzle (Ireland, 2002), Delta Blues (Japan, 2006) and Americain (France, 2010).
Written by Andrew Hawkins