International Sprint Stars Take Aim at Spring Carnival

There was a time when the only international horses that would target the Melbourne spring carnival were dour staying types who were trying to get a piece of the action in the rich staying races.

However that trend seems destined to change after Racing Victoria confirmed sprinting sensations Society Rock and Delegator have been nominated for the Group One Patinack Farm Classic at Flemington on the final day of the 2011 Melbourne Cup Carnival.

Racing Victoria’s international recruitment officer Leigh Jordan said he had been charged with making sure international trainers understand that there is more to the Melbourne Spring Carnival than the Caulfield Cup and Melbourne Cup.

The Godolphin owned Delegator has proven himself as a world class sprinter, while connections of Society Rock will have their eyes firmly fixed on the $600,000 bonus that the horse is eligible for as a winner of a Global Sprint Challenge race.

Both international sprinters will pose a fresh and exciting challenge for the world’s best sprinter Black Caviar, who has obliterated her opposition every time she has raced down the Flemington straight.

“Society Rock is a class act having won the famous Golden Jubilee Stakes at Royal Ascot in June after finishing runner up to Starspangledbanner in the same race 12 months earlier,” Jordan said.

In a mark of Society Rock’s quality, he bounded away from Star Witness in the Golden Jubilee and he has come closer to Black Caviar than any other horse – running second in the Patinack Farm classic last year.

“Delegator is a very smart horse when on song. He’s a multiple Group One placegetter and he’s effective up to a mile so he’d be suited by a strong 1200 meters up the Flemington straight,” Jordan said.

“Godolphin has committed to this year’s Melbourne Cup and we would be delighted if they saw fit to bring Delegator along to compete in the Patinack Farm Classic at the same time.”

In addition to the English Sprinters coming to target the Patinack, champion Hong Kong two year old Bear Hero has also been nominated for the Coolmore Classic.

In what shapes as a clash between two of the best three year olds in the world, the undefeated Bear Hero will take on the all-conquering Sepoy in the Group One Coolmore.

“I’m particularly excited about the entry from Bear Hero, who is an Australian bred colt that is unbeaten in three starts and who has run some blistering times in Sha Tin.” Jordan said.

Bear Hero’s fastest time in a 1000m race (he has only ever raced over 1000m) of 55.55 seconds is actually faster than any time Black Caviar has been able to clock in her three tries at the five furlongs.

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