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The man that prepared the first internationally-trained Melbourne Cup winner, Irish horseman Dermot K Weld has confirmed he will be bringing his last-start Leopardstown winner Galileo’s Choice to Australia for the 2012 edition of the ‘race that stops a nation’.
Earlier this week Racing Victoria took 151 nominations for the $6.2 million Group 1 Emirates Melbourne Cup (3200m), the world famous handicap to run as Flemington Race 7 on Tuesday November 6, 2012.
Among this year’s Melbourne Cup nominations were 23 overseas raiders including three entries for dual Melbourne Cup winning trainer Weld.
Weld, who has won the classic with Vintage Crop (1993), who also ran third to Doriemus two years later, and Media Puzzle (2002), nominated for Rite Of Passage, Sapphire and Galileo’s Choice.
His has since confirmed one of those with Galileo’s Choice who failed to pass the Melbourne Cup ballot last year, their victory in the Group 3 Kilternan Stakes (2011m) not enough to get them into the field.
“Dermot was bitterly disappointed last year when (Galileo’s Choice’s) Group win over 2000m didn’t get him past the ballot for the Melbourne Cup,” Racing Victoria’s chief handicapper Greg Carpenter said earlier this week.
“He’s had two runs this season and won them both so he’s declared he will be travelling the horse out without another run and going straight into the Melbourne Cup.”
This year it is all system’s go however with the seven-year-old winning their two most recent runs at Leopardstown, firstly the Listed Challenge Stakes (2816m) and then the Group 3 Ballyroan Stakes (2414m), both of which saw them qualify for the Melbourne Cup 2012.
“The lovely thing about him is he’s a typical Galileo and they’re such good horses,” Weld said.
“He’s full of guts and courage and he’s a Group winner of a very good Group III around Leopardstown over 10 furlongs so he’s got plenty of pace.
“His last two runs he wins a mile and six [furlong] Listed race and he wins a mile and a half Group 3.”
Weld is also considering a lead-up run in the $250,000 Group 3 Geelong Cup (2400m) on October 24, which has produced the past two Melbourne Cup winners with Americain (2010) and Dunaden (2011) both taking out the Geelong Cup – Melbourne Cup double, with Galileo’s Choice but said it was not essential.
“If we feel to give him a run he’ll go to the Geelong Cup otherwise we go straight into the Melbourne Cup if we’re happy with his weight,” the maestro trainer said.
“He loves to be fresh. He’s a very clear winded horse, doesn’t take a lot of work.
“That’s why I think we might go out [to Australia] a little earlier this year.”
Along with Vintage Crop and Media Puzzle’s wins, Weld’s other notable Melbourne Cup runners over the years were the great stayer Vinnie Roe who ran second to the legendary Makybe Diva in 2004, and Profound Beauty who finished a credible fifth to the Bart Cummings-trained Viewed in 2008.
In the updated post-nomination Melbourne Cup odds at bookmaker.com.au, which are led by $11 favourite Mount Athos from the Luca Cumani stables, Galileo’s Choice is rated a $26 chance equal with the likes of American St Leger winner Jakkalberry and Doomben Cup champ Mawingo.
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