Training the 2011 Melbourne Cup winner this November at Flemington is becoming a more imaginable reality for British horseman Mark Johnston after his Dubawi gelding Fox Hunt qualified for the $6.2 million handicap with a victory in the German St Leger on Sunday.
Johnston already had a genuine Melbourne Cup 2011 contender in his recent Irish St Leger champion Jukebox Jury, and now he could be dually represented in the ‘race that stops a nation’ with four-year-old Fox Hunt also now qualified.
With jockey Silvestre de Sousa aboard, Fox Hunt held on to claim a tidy three quarter length win in the Group 3 German St Leger (2800m) over Fair Boss carting a hefty 60kg and passed the Melbourne Cup first elimination clause having won Group flat race over 2300 metres or further.
“That was great, just what we wanted,” Deirdre Johnston, wife of trainer Mark, said.
“He is a very game and tough horse and never knows when he is beaten.
“I was confident that the others were never going to get him as he always finds more.”
Despite qualifying for the Cup, connections are yet to confirm a guaranteed trip down under for Fox Hunt to join Jukebox Jury in Victoria.
“Fox Hunt still has several options and we shall have to talk things over with the connections,” Mrs Johnston said.
Fox Hunt is owned by Sheikh Hamdan Bin Mohammed Al Maktoum, son of the famous Sheikh Mohammad of Darley Racing.
Montjeu five-year-old Jukebox Jury currently sits at the top of the ballot for the November first feature and is paying $26 in the Melbourne Cup odds at Luxbet.
Fox Hunt is further down the Melbourne Cup betting at a quote of $51.
See below for the most recent Melbourne Cup futures odds courtesy of Luxbet.
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2012 Melbourne Cup Odds