Most people would assume that Bart Cummings has done everything there is to do when it comes to the Melbourne spring carnival of racing, however the master trainer will be attempting a career first in the 2011 Caulfield Cup.
Cummings has never trained a northern hemisphere bred horse to victory in either the Caulfield Cup or Melbourne Cup, however he will get his chance in 2011 thanks to talented German galloper Illo.
Illo, who was given to Cummings by high profile owner Richard Pegum (who owns Cups Contenders December Draw and My Kingdom of Fife), will arrive in Australia in the next month before heading to the Werribee quarantine centre where he will be put through his pre-training program.
“We haven’t got him, he’s still in quarantine in the UK. He’ll be there for another three and a half weeks, then fly to Werribee and be there for a month,” Cummings said.
“He’ll be doing his pre-training at Werribee and we’ll know more about him when he arrives.”
When asked about the horses winning chances in the 2011 Cups, a typically mischievous Cummings said ‘He’s undefeated in Australia at this stage’.
Illo has won three races and been placed another four times from his ten career starts. Two of his wins have come in listed races (2000m and 2400m), while he was also able to claim a Group Three event in Germany over 2200m.
He was also first past the post in another Group Three event, however he was stripped of the win after a successful protest. He also ran third behind the highly rated Budai in the Group Three Baden Baden Stakes.
Cummings has attempted to win the Caulfield Cup/Melbourne Cup double with a European galloper once before – with Rosedale in 1987.
That year Rosedale had two conditioning runs in Australia before being sent out as 300-1 chance in the Caulfield Cup. While he didn’t win, he did put in what many called the run of the race and finished fifth. He then ran second in the Moonee Valley Cup before a strong fourth in the Mackinnon on Derby Day saw the horse backed into favouritism for the Melbourne Cup.
Rosedale led the race throughout but tired in the closing stages and ended up finishing third behind Kensei.
“He was a pacemaker in the USA and John Marshall rode him and pulled his head off in the Cup.” Cummings said.
All in all Cummings has won 12 Melbourne Cups and 7 Caulfield Cups.
At this stage Illo is at long odds to even make the field let alone win either the Caulfield Cup or Melbourne Cup. But if you think he can you should join Luxbet. Not only will you get all the best odds on the spring carnival features, but you will also earn a 100 per cent deposit bonus worth up to $400 by using the promotional code BONUSBET