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Ace Irish horseman Dermot Weld has just one horse still in contention for the 2011 Melbourne Cup after his impressive jumps performer Galileo’s Choice was ruled out of the iconic Flemington feature this November.
Weld, arguably one of the world’s best trainers having won a plethora of Group 1 races across eight countries, is vying for a third victory in the ‘race that stops a nation’ having previously prepared Melbourne Cup winners Vintage Crop (1993) and Media Puzzle (2002).
Originally Weld had two nominations for the $6.2 million Group 1 Melbourne Cup (3200m), to run as Flemington Race 7 on Tuesday November 1, but his progressive Galileo six-year-old Galileo’s Choice has since been withdrawn.
A winner of five of their 13 starts to date including their last three on the trot, Galileo’s Choice will not get the chance to hand Weld his Melbourne Cup hat-trick due to balloting conditions imposed by Racing Victoria.
Describing the conditions that have forced him to shelve the Melbourne Cup campaign of Galileo’s Choice as “archaic”, Weld was reportedly furious after hearing the news from Australian racing officials that the horse was ineligible for the 2011 Emirates Melbourne Cup field.
“There are about two pages of rules which are, in my opinion, outdated and as a result they are going to miss out on getting some of the best horses,” Weld said in regards to Racing Victoria and the current Melbourne Cup ballot and race criteria.
“Although he (Galileo’s Choice) has won three races in five weeks, including winning a Group Three at 10 furlongs (2000 metres), archaic conditions in the small print mean he isn’t eligible to run.”
Weld still has Galileo mare Sense Of Purpose nominated for the Melbourne Cup.
Winner of the Group 3 Ballyroan Stakes (2414m) at Leopardstown on August 4, Sense Of Purpose will race again in the Group 2 Park Hill Stakes at Doncaster this week.
Sense Of Purpose is rated a $51 chance in the 2011 Melbourne Cup odds at Luxbet.
In other Melbourne Cup news relating to the Northern Hemisphere-prepared contingent, the first international raiders landed in Australia yesterday, the John Moore-trained Hong Kong hopefuls Mighty High and Silver Grecian now in quarantine at Werribee.
Stakes winning middle-distance galloper Silver Grecian is being prepared for a campaign that may culminate at Flemington on the last day of the Melbourne Cup Carnival with a run in the $1 million Group 1 Emirates Stakes (3200m) on November 5.
Meanwhile Mighty High has the $2.5 million Group 1 Caulfield Cup (2400m) and Melbourne Cup 2011 in their sights.
Melbourne Cup betting at Luxbet has Mighty High at a quote of $41, the last-start Group 1 Chater Cup winner at Shat Tin due to be ridden by Australian hoop Darren Beadman, who is based in Hong Kong and who has partnered the five-year-old to six of their 14 career starts to date.
With first declarations for the 2011 Caulfield Cup closing yesterday, Mighty High now sits equal seventh on the order of entry with 54.5kg and is paying $35 in the Caulfield Cup betting at Luxbet.
Leigh Jordan, Racing Victoria’s international scout, made comparisons between Mighty High and fellow Hong Kong stayer Mr Medici.
Second to Mighty High in the Chater Cup in May, Mr Medici travelled to Victoria last spring finishing fourth behind Descarado in the Caulfield Cup and 10th behind the French-trained winner Americain in the 150th Melbourne Cup.
“John Moore knows what it takes to win here and he wouldn’t be here if he didn’t think they would measure up,” Jordan said.
Get behind the internationals or support the green and gold Melbourne Cup hopefuls at the best early odds through Luxbet today.
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