Flemington-based trainer Mark Kavanagh has started the early training for last year’s Melbourne Cup winner Shocking in anticipation of the four-year-old’s second Melbourne Cup campaign this spring.
Shocking, a son of Street Cry out of Maria Di Castiglia, took out the 2009 Melbourne Cup after starting at $9 odds winning ahead of C’est La Guerre and Fiumicino.
If successful in defending his title on the first Tuesday of November at Flemington, Shocking will become just the sixth horse in the race’s 150 year history to claim multiple Melbourne Cups, the latest being the magnificent Makybe Diva who secured a hat-trick claiming victory in 2003, 2004 and 2005.
The first stage in preparing Shocking for his Cup assault begun on Monday when he arrived at the pre-trainers at Euroa in rural Victoria.
Kavanagh sent a contingent of spring-bound horses from his stable to the pre-trainers, where they will stay for four weeks before returning home when the hard work really starts.
Shocking’s record stands at five wins and seven placings from 17 career starts for $3,894,520 in prizemoney, with his strength as a stayer proven last spring when he raced his best over 2000m or further.
The path Kavanagh will set Shocking on in the spring leading up to the $6 million Melbourne Cup is still wide open, with the colt sure to be nominated for big events including the Caulfield Cup (2400m) on Saturday October 16.
Nominations for the 2010 Melbourne Cup close on August 3 ahead of the handicap weight allocations on September 1, for which Shocking is sure to be weighted heavily as he aims for back-to-back success.
In the lead-up to the spring carnivals, many horses are contesting the quality group races currently taking place at the Brisbane Winter Racing Carnival. This weekend the feature event is the $650,000 Group 1 Doomben 10,000 (1350m), check out the odds at Ladbrokes.com.au.