One of Europe’s leading trainers, Dermot Weld is considering another trip down under this spring carnival with his promising mare Sense Of Purpose a definite 2011 Melbourne Cup entry.
Curragh-based Weld has previously trained two Melbourne Cup winners with Vintage Crop (1993) and Media Puzzle (2002).
Four-year-old Sense Of Purpose earned an entry into this year’s edition of the world’s richest handicap after scoring an impressive win in the Listed Challenge Stakes at Leopardstown last week.
“This (Challenge Stakes) is a lucky race for us,” Weld said.
“We have won it six times in the last 10 years.
“We have won it four in a row now.
“Profound Beauty and Vinnie Roe won it three times each so she (Sense Of Purpose) had a hard act to follow.”
Danehill mare Profound Beauty won the first of her three Challenge Stakes in 2008 and went on to contestt that year’s Melbourne Cup, finishing a close fifth behind the Bart Cummings-trained Viewed.
Profound Beauty also represented Weld in last year’s Melbourne Cup, but an awkward gate saw her fail to come within 19 lengths of upset 2010 Melbourne Cup winner Americain.
Vinnie Roe three-times lined up in the iconic Melbourne Cup showdown, their best result being their second behind the magnificent Makybe Diva in 2004.
They earlier finished fourth behind stablemate Media Puzzle in the emotional 2002 Melbourne Cup and also ran eighth again to Makybe Diva in 2005.
Weld saw enough from Sense Of Purpose with her all-the-way Challenge Stakes success to suggest she could race competitively in the 2011 Melbourne Cup.
“She got a very good ride (from Put Smullen),” he said.
“She is a very genuine filly who has improved as the years have gone on.
“We’ll see where we go.
“She’ll get an entry for the Melbourne Cup.
“I’m not saying she will go but she will get an entry.
“She stays well. Ground wise, she’s adaptable, but firm would be best.”
The $6 million Group 1 Melbourne Cup (3200m) is the showcase race of the Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival and is set to run for the 151st time at Flemington Racecourse on Tuesday, November 1.
Pre-nomination Melbourne Cup 2011 betting markets are lead by last year’s runner-up Maluckyday ($13) followed by defending champion Americain ($15), Danny O’Brien’s Australian Guineas – Australian Derby double winning filly Shamrocker ($15) and gun Kiwi filly and recent Queensland Oaks conqueror Scarlett Lady ($17).