Goodwood Cup Winner Illustrious Blue Targets 2010 Melbourne Cup

Another classy international contender is being considered for the 2010 Melbourne Cup after the William Knight-trained Illustrious Blue claimed an eye-catching win in the Group 2 Goodwood Cup in Sussex, England this week.

Run over 3,219m the Goodwood Cup distance is almost identical to the world renowned Melbourne Cup (3200m), with Knight now convinced Illustrious Blue has what it takes to run with the best at Flemington this spring.

Illustrious Blue was able to run down Electrolyser to score victory by over a length in the Goodwood Cup.

The victory has Knight seriously considering a trip Down Under for the $6 million Melbourne Cup and bypassing other British races including the Lonsdale and Doncaster Cups.

Known as a the ‘race that stops the nation’, the Melbourne Cup is the headline event of the annual Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival, which kicks officially kicks off in August.

The Goodwood Cup was, however, marred by the brake down of hot favourite Age Of Aquarius who seriously injured their leg mid-race.

Up-and-coming British trainer Knight has just days to nominate seven-year-old Illustrious Blue for the 2010 Melbourne Cup, scheduled as Race 7 at Flemington on November 2, with nominations closing next Tuesday.

A nomination will give Illustrious Blue a stint at becoming the first British-trained horse to win the Melbourne Cup.

The veteran stayer would be an interesting addition to the list of Melbourne Cup starters especially if weighted favourably.

There is already likely to be a strong international flavour to the historic 150th running of the Melbourne Cup this year.

Classy Irish mare Profound Beauty is the favourite of the overseas runners in the pre-nomination betting markets paying $19 for a win at SportingBet, trailing $15 favourite Faint Perfume and $16 second elect Linton.

After quarantine facilities in Japan were cleared by Australian officials earlier in the week, the 2010 Melbourne Cup final field is also likely to have at least one Japanese horse for the first time since Delta Blues and Pop Rock ran 1-2 in the 2006 Melbourne Cup, with Jaguar Mail keen for a berth in the 2010 Melbourne Cup.

Bookmark this page as we will be the first to publish the 2010 Melbourne Cup nominations, final field and form in the lead-up to the world’s richest handicap.

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