On Wednesday a small but imposing field of seven quality stayers will run towards the Melbourne Cup on the first Tuesday of November when they take place in the Geelong Cup 2012.
This year’s $300,000 Group 3 Geelong Cup (2400m) is due to run as Geelong Race 7 at 4:00pm (AEST) and punters and form experts will be keeping a close eye on the race leading up to the $6.2 million Group 1 Melbourne Cup (3200m) on November 6.
Over the past two years two French-trained raiders have scored the Geelong Cup win before going on to take out the world’s richest handicap with Melbourne Cup winners Americain (2010) and Dunaden (2011) completing the double.
Adding to this strong form line was 2002 Melbourne Cup winner Media Puzzle who also took out the double, and the gallant grey Bauer who won the Geelong Cup in 2008 before going down a mere nose in that year’s Melbourne Cup to the Bart Cummings-trained Viewed.
On Wednesday the internationals will be out in force once again with the Geelong Cup 2012 final field saturated by both overseas-trained and bred contenders.
Two horses are allocated the 58.5kg top-weight in the Geelong Cup field this year with Maluckyday (barriet three) and the Michael Kent-trained Tac De Boistron (barrier five).
The Hawkes-trained Maluckyday is no stranger to the big pressure spring races having run a brave second in the 2010 Melbourne Cup.
With injury setting them back over the subsequent 24 months, the now six-year-old Zabeel gelding looked to be firing on all cylinders last time out when they ran a close third-up second to Tanby in the Listed The Bart Cummings (2520m) at Flemington.
The other horse to carry 58.5kg on Wednesday is then French raider Tac De Boistron, the Take Risks grey spending their spring prep with Michael Kent, who hasn’t raced since their runaway win in the Group 2 Prix Maurice De Nieuil (2800m) at Longchamp in France back in July.
Maluckyday is rated a $26 chance in the latest 2012 Melbourne Cup odds at bookmaker.com.au while Tac De Boistron is shorter in the markets at $18.
The shortest-priced of the Geelong Cup acceptors in Melbourne Cup betting however is Brigantin at $12.
Drawn on the rails for Saturday with Honk Kong-based, Italian hoop Umberto Rispoli to ride them on 57.5kg, the Andre Fabre-trained Cozzene gelding was last seen finishing an eye-catching second to Joshua Tree in the Group 2 Preix Kergorlay (3000m) in France on August 19.
Brigantin’s form at home is certainly imposing as they also boast a victory over Melbourne Cup – Caulfield Cup winner Dunaden when defeating them by two lengths in May last year over 3100m.
The other notable Melbourne Cup bound horse in the Geelong Cup mix this year is then $26 chance Gatewood from the British stables of John Gosden who will carry 55.5kg from gate seven with big race specialist Glen Boss in the saddle as they look to improve on their first-up seventh in the Group 2 Herbert Power Stakes (2400m) at Caulfield on October 13.
Rounding out the Melbourne Cup hopes using the Geelong Cup as springboard are then Herbert Power Stakes third placed Exceptionally ($51) and New Zealand veteran Back In Black ($501) while the Peter Moody-trained Chateau Margaux is the only non-Melbourne Cup horse in the race.
Four-year-old Redoute’s Choice mare Chateau Margaux however is still a strong chance in the Geelong Cup having won their past two on the trot with an 1800m win at Caulfield in September and a smart victory over 2040m at Cranbourne on October 12.
See below for the full 2012 Geelong Cup field, barriers, jockeys and weights.
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2012 Geelong Cup Final Field & Barrier Draw
Geelong Race 7 – 24/10/2012
|#||Form (Last 10)||Horse||Trainer||Jockey||Br.||Wgt.||Hcp. Rating|
|1||x447x8x802||MALUCKYDAY (NZ)||Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes||Jim Cassidy||3||58.5kg||107|
|2||441x53521x||TAC DE BOISTRON (FR)||Michael Kent||–||5||58.5kg||107|
|3||38x24x622x||BRIGANTIN (USA)||Andre Fabre||Umberto Rispoli||1||57.5kg||105|
|4||214×111327||GATEWOOD (GB)||John Gosden||Glen Boss||7||55.5kg||101|
|5||x00021x233||EXCEPTIONALLY (NZ)||Terry & Karina O’Sullivan||Dean Yendall||6||54kg||98|
|6||x1117x2311||CHATEAU MARGAUX||Peter G Moody||Luke Nolen||2||54kg||93|
|7||90×0970170||BACK IN BLACK (NZ)||John Steffert||Craig Newitt||4||54kg||89|