Melbourne Cup hopefuls Bauer, Galileo’s Choice and Modun took their next steps towards a southern hemisphere trip with wins in England and Ireland on Saturday.
The talented, but injury-plagued, Bauer showed he retained plenty of ability to claim the Old Borough Cup at Haydock.
The Luca Cumani-trained Bauer came within a nose of winning the 2008 Melbourne Cup but has only seen the racecourse three times since.
Tony Chapman, who bred Bauer and still owns a half-share in the eight-year-old, said there was still no decision on a Melbourne Cup start.
“I don’t know whether he’ll go back there (Melbourne Cup) this year, we’ll have to speak to Luca and the other owners,” Chapman said.
“We came here to find out how good he still was and I’m pleasantly surprised how well he has done it.
“We will have to see whether he will go across to Australia.
“He’s not the best of travellers, so we want to be sure he is at his best.”
Dual Cup winning trainer Dermot Weld signalled a third trophy could be in the wind with Galileo’s Choice, winner of the Group Three Kilternan Stakes at Leopardstown.
Like Weld’s 1983 Melbourne Cup winner Vintage Crop, Galileo’s Choice is a proficient jumper having won over hurdles at the Galway Festival.
Ridden by Pat Smullen at Leopardstown, Galileo’s Choice took the lead before the home turn and defied attempts to run him down.
“That was very pleasing, and it was a very good ride by Pat,” Weld said.
“He’s a very adaptable horse and I thought he’d win as he’d been working very well.
“I wanted to see if he had this kind of pace.
“I’ve entered him in the Melbourne Cup. Everybody thought I’d gone mad, but I might not have.
“He’s a horse with a lot of talent and a horse who has had lots of little problems, but hopefully he can continue on his way.”
The Sir Michael Stoute-trained Modun was highly effective at his first attempt in Pattern company in the September Stakes at Haydock.
The Group Three success takes him through the first ballot stage for the Melbourne Cup.
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