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After being balloted out of last year’s ‘race that stops at nation’ connections will try again with French galloper Shahwardi who is 2013 Melbourne Cup bound.
The Alain de Royer Dupre-trained Lando gelding earned a trip down under 12 months ago with some eye-catching midyear form back home in France including their third to subsequent Canadian International champ Joshua Tree in the Group 2 Prix Kergorlay (3000m).
They debuted in Australian at Caulfield in October and won the Group 2 Herbert Power Stakes (2400m) when ridden by Australia’s Kerrin McEvoy.
Dupre and co however rolled the dice and decided not to run them in the Caulfield Cup despite still not being assured of a start in the $6.2 million Group 1 Melbourne Cup (3200m) at Flemington on the first Tuesday of November.
The gamble didn’t pay off.
Shahwardi, allocated just 53kg in the Cup including a 1.5kg penalty from Racing Victoria chief handicapper Greg Carpenter for their Herbert Power win, missed out on a run in the world’s richest handicap.
And Dupre missed out on adding a second ‘Loving Trophy’ to his collection having won the 2010 Melbourne Cup with the now retired Americain.
They also failed to score a consolation Melbourne Cup Carnival prize when finishing a disappointing seventh beaten 11 lengths by Puissance De Lune, current 2013 Melbourne Cup betting favourite, in the Group 3 Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2600m) on Emirates Stakes Day.
Sent home for a six and a half month spell Shahwardi resumed racing at Longchamp on May 26.
It was a very shaky start to their new campaign two when they were thrashed by nearly 40 lengths in the Group 2 Prix Vicomtesse Vigier (3100m).
They bounced back on June 22 at Royal Ascot however when chasing down the leaders and putting on a big finish to come within a neck of Chiberta King in a 4369m staying feature.
Plans are now to try again at making this year’s Melbourne Cup field.
As mentioned Ballarat galloper Puissance De Lune leads the latest Melbourne Cup odds at $9.
Further down the markets punters can then find Shahwardi at a quote of $31.
Also on the same price in the early markets are the likes of Ethiopia who was dead last in the race last year, last start The BMW champion Fiveandahalfstar and the reigning Melbourne Cup winner Green Moon.
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