Alain De Royer Dupre’s Group 1 winning grey Reliable Man could be on track to join their champion stablemate Americain on a trip down under this Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival, the duo to target the 2012 Melbourne Cup at Flemington on Tuesday November 6, 2012.
While seven-year-old Dynaformer stallion Americain, winner of the 2010 Melbourne Cup, is no stranger to Aussie soil this would be the first Southern Hemisphere foray for Dalakhani four-year-old Reliable Man.
Americain enjoyed great success in their maiden trip to Oz winning the Geelong Cup – Melbourne Cup double in the spring of 2010.
The great stayer returned last year and after a Group 2 Moonee Valley Cup success in October lost few admirers when seeking back-to-back Melbourne Cup victories, Americain coming from dead last to finish within a length and a half of the winner Dunaden when fourth to the fellow French-trained galloper.
Staying on in Australia for the autumn season under the training of Victoria’s David Hayes, Americain had three more Group 1 runs but could only manage to finish third and then second respectively to the Peter Moody-trained import Manighar in the Australian Cup and The BMW before their worst run in Australia to date, sixth to More Joyous in the Queen Elizabeth Stakes on April 28.
Owned by Australian connections Americain was subsequently returned to Royer Dupre’s care back in France and is on track for their third successive Melbourne Cup raid.
When they come back to Melbourne this year however they could have a travel companion with Reliable Man also emerging as a genuine Melbourne Cup 2012 chance.
Winner of the Group 1 Prix Du Jockey Club Stakes (2100m) at their home track at Chantilly in June last year, Reliable Man was last seen campaigning at Royal Ascot.
After a credible fourth to former Australian star and dual Cox Plate champion So You Think in the Group 1 Prince Of Wales’s Stakes (2011m) on Jun3 20, Reliable Man went on to run fourth again this time to Danedream in the Group 1 King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2414m) on July 21.
Racing Victoria’s international talent scout Leigh Jordon returned home this week after their own English campaign to entice the connections of European stayers and middle distance gallopers to Australia for the Melbourne spring riches including the $6.2 million Group 1 Emirates Melbourne Cup (3200m).
Jordon said this year was one of the most exciting yet on the international interest front.
“I can’t recall such a positive vibe at this time of year from the European trainers about our Carnival features,” he said.
“The level of interest is tremendous and the past fortnight has only served to strengthen my belief that Australia’s standing on the world racing stage is on an upward spiral and that it can only be good for our industry.
“There is definitely strong interest.
“As we know racing is getting more international and the (Melbourne) Cup has helped promote Australia a lot.
“So has Black Caviar, with her trip to England this year. That, and our very good prize money and the fact that the Australian dollar is so strong, are all making people more aware of the opportunities.”
And having seen Reliable Man in action while in England Jordon was hopeful Royer Dupre would bring them along with Americain to target the ‘race that stops a nation’.
“I saw him run a good race on Saturday and he strikes me as a good Cup type of horse, so I was asking Alain about the chance of him coming out too,” Jordan said.
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