A race won 12 months ago by the previous year’s Melbourne Cup winner Americain, the Moonee Valley Gold Cup 2012 will run in Melbourne for Cox Plate Day this Saturday, with an intriguing field of stayers making up the nominations.
A bumper 22 early entries were taken for the $250,000 Drake International Cup (2500m) this year, a number of which are also accepted to run in Wednesday’s $300,000 Group 3 Geelong Cup (2400m).
Geelong Cup acceptors also nominated for the 2012 Moonee Valley Cup include:
- 2010 Melbourne Cup runner-up Maluckyday coming off a much improved second in the Listed The Bart Cummings (2520m), a $26 chance at bookmaker.com.au for the Melbourne Cup
- John Gosden’s British raider Gatewood who is topping the Geelong Cup odds at bookmaker.com.au and who is also at $26 to win the Melbourne Cup next month
- Herbert Power Stakes third placed Exceptionally, a $51 Melbourne Cup chance, and
- Michael Kent’s imported French galloper Tac De Boistron to make their Australian debut this week
Connections of grey stayer Tac De Boistron who, like the bulk of the MV Gold Cup nominees is heading towards a run in the $6.2 million Group 1Emirates Melbourne Cup (3200m) on Tuesday November 6, have warned they will be scratched from the Geelong Cup if track conditions are too firm.
“He has a lot of weight (in the Geelong Cup) and basically we are just looking at a prep run,” Kent said warning punters they would not be at their best until they got up to the 3200m of the Melbourne Cup.
“It has its benefits obviously because you have exposure to crowds and that sort of thing. There is a risk that you can jar them up if the track is too firm.
“I think it is important to have a run and it seems like it is the winning formula to have a run before the Melbourne Cup.”
The shortest-priced of the Moonee Valley Gold Cup hopes in the 2012 Melbourne Cup odds at bookmaker.com.au meanwhile is the Robert Hickmott-trained Mourayan at $21, the in-form seven-year-old last seen winning the Group 3 Craven Plate (2000m) at Randwick on October 6.
Hickmott and owner Lloyd Williams are also represented in the Drake International Cup nominations by Herbert Power Stakes runner-up Excluded, Caulfield Stakes fourth placed Midas Touch and last start The Bart Cummings winner Tanby.
Other noteworthy Melbourne Cup chances that could use Saturday’s race as a springboard to the world’s richest handicap include the Bart Cummings-trained Precedence, Adelaide Cup winner Rialya and Gerald Ryan’s consistent Zabeel seven-year-old Ironstein.
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2012 Drake International Cup Nominations
Moonee Valley Racecourse – 27/10/2012
|1||BUXTED (IRE)||Sam Pritchard-Gordon||95|
|2||CHATEAU MARGAUX||Peter G Moody||93|
|3||EXCEPTIONALLY (NZ)||Terry & Karina O’Sullivan||98|
|4||EXCLUDED (NZ)||Robert Hickmott||98|
|5||FICTIONAL ACCOUNT (IRE)||David Hayes||95|
|6||GATEWOOD (GB)||John Gosden||101|
|7||HEAVEN’S RICHES||Robbie Laing||80|
|8||IBICENCO (GER)||Luca Cumani||100|
|10||MALUCKYDAY (NZ)||Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes||107|
|11||MIDAS TOUCH (GB)||Robert Hickmott||105|
|13||MOURAYAN (IRE)||Robert Hickmott||108|
|14||PRECEDENCE (NZ)||Bart Cummings||104|
|15||REUBEN PERCIVAL (NZ)||Gai Waterhouse||98|
|17||SHENZHOU STEEDS (NZ)||Michael Moroney||100|
|19||TAC DE BOISTRON (FR)||Michael Kent||107|
|21||UNUSUAL SUSPECT (USA)||Michael Kent||103|
|22||VATUVEI||Peter G Moody||82|