Talented Irish horseman Dermot K Weld has twice prepared a Melbourne Cup winner and on Tuesday he will look to make it a triple in the world’s richest handicap, but can his hopeful Galileo’s Choice get the job done in the Melbourne Cup 2012?
The veteran Galileo seven-year-old is yet to race down under and will debut in Australia in the $6.2 million Group 1 Emirates Melbourne Cup (3200m), due to run as Flemington Race 7 at 3:00pm (AEST).
Lightly-raced for their age with just 16 starts to their name Galileo’s Choice has an imposing record of eight victories and five minor placings and were in the winners’ stall for their two most recent runs.
Last seen taking out the Group 3 Ballyroan Stakes (2414m) at Leopardstown in August, Galileo’s Choice will be ridden by their Irish hoop Pat Smullen in the Cup on Saturday having drawn ideally with barrier 11.
A talented galloper with both flat and hurdle racing experience they also have winning form up to 3319m in a jumps race and while they are a very dour stayer they are not without their admirers in the Melbourne Cup odds paying $16.
So can Galileo’s Choice score an upset Melbourne Cup result as an underrated Irish hurdler the way Vintage Crop did for Weld when becoming the first internationally-trained horse to win the ‘race that stops a nation’ back in 1993?
Weld knows they are a chance, but Flemington needs to receive some of that predicted rain.
“It is critical for him that we get the rain,” Mark Weld, son of Dermot, said this week.
“The Flemington track was upgraded to a Good 3 on Derby Day and that is too quick for us and possibly too quick for one or two of the other European horses as well.
“But if the rain was to come on Tuesday morning, it would be a big help to us.”
Below we take a look at the facts and stats on Galileo’s Choice and work out whether they are a genuine smokey with a chance or one to sack with your Melbourne Cup bets at bookmaker.com.au.
#12 Galileo’s Choice – Horse Form
- Barrier: 11
- Jockey: Pat Smullen
- Trainer: Dermot K Weld
- Owners: Dr R Lambe, Sir M W Smurfit, Mr D Keough, Mr M J Regan
- Age: 7YO
- Gender: Gelding
- Breeding: by Galileo (IRE) from Sir Ivor (USA) mare Sevi’s Choice (USA)
- Career: 16-8-4-1
- Win: 50.55%
- Place: 81.25%
- Last 6: 17x11x
- Prize Money: $244,089
- Track: 0-0-0-0
- Distance: 3-2-1-0
- Current 2012 Melbourne Cup: $16
Yes – Galileo’s Choice Can Win the Melbourne Cup 2012
- Dermot K Weld is a dual Melbourne Cup winning trainer having prepared the first ever internationally-trained winner of the race with Vintage Crop (1993) as well as Media Puzzle (2002)
- Lots of comparisons between Vintage Crop and Galileo’s Choice who is a seven-year-old gelding as Weld’s first Melbourne Cup winner was
- Carried 61kg to victory for his past two starts and will relish dropping back to just 53.5kg here
- Has drawn ideally with barrier 11 which is the most successful barrier in the modern era having produced 7 Melbourne Cup winners
- May be a 7YO (in Australian racing terms) but has had just 16 starts so should still have plenty of racing in their legs
- Consistent Win Rate of 50% – the best of the field
- The past two Melbourne Cup winners have been ridden by international jockeys and this year Galileo’s Choice will be ridden by their Irish hoop Pat Smullen
- Resumes racing here and has an excellent first-up record (8-4-2-1)
- Great record over the 3200m with two wins and a second from three starts – keep in mind these were jumps races
- Is one of just five last-start winners in the field and 12 of the past 19 Melbourne Cup winners won their lead-up race
- Will wear saddlecloth Number 12 which has been the most successful with 11 wins along with number 4
No – Galileo’s Choice Won’t be the 2012 Melbourne Cup Winner
- Too dour?
- Are they better as a jumps horse?
- Has to beat a field full of other genuine internationals including the past two Melbourne Cup winners with #1 Dunaden (2011) and #2 Americain (2010)
- History is against them as a seven-year-old with only 10 7YO’s winning the Cup throughout history
- Hasn’t raced down under or at Flemington Racecourse before
- Looks a better Place Bet with a place percentage of 81.25% – the best in the field
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