Jessica Harrington’s Big Bad Bob gelding Bob Le Beau has emerged as a possible contender for this year’s edition of the iconic Melbourne Cup at Flemington Racecourse after the Irish-trained four-year-old took out a black-type feature in Ireland last week.
Bob Le Beau extended their increasingly impressive record to six wins and four minor placings from 14 starts with a brave one-length success over Unity in the €40,000 Listed Martin Molony Stakes (2276m) at Limerick Racecourse last Friday.
The victory came two weeks after Bob Le Beau’s eye-catching second to Viscount Nelson in a Listed feature at The Curragh and was a notable result considering the galloper carted 61kg to victory.
After tracking the early leaders in the Martin Molony, Bob Le Beau (5-4 favourite) and jockey Fran Berry raced up into second just before the field hit the straight turning the showdown into a three-horse race with Unity and Jackaroo.
Maintaining their position despite being challenged, Bob Le Beau soon hit the front and held on well under pressure inside the final furlong to score victory.
A Group placegetter, Bob Le Beau was the horse former Australian champion So You Think recently defeated by a remarkable 10 lengths in the Group 3 Mooresbridge Stakes (2011m) last month.
Now a trip down under to So You Think’s old hunting ground in Victoria could be on the agenda for Bob Le Beau, connections considering a Melbourne Spring Carnival assault with the emerging stayer targeting the $6 million Group 1 Melbourne Cup (3200m) on the first Tuesday of November.
“We think he’s a nice horse and it was a good performance from him the other day,” Patrick Cooper, racing manager for Bob Le Beau’s owner Christina Patino, said.
“There are no real plans for him at the moment, we’ll see how he comes out of the race and what Jessica thinks, but the Melbourne Cup might be a possible target for later in the year.
“He doesn’t qualify at the moment but we’ll keep plodding around in Ireland and might be able to get him in (to the Melbourne Cup field).”