French Force Must be Lethal Before Melbourne Spring 2013

Connections of English 2013 Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival hope Lethal Force have announced the talented grey must put in a cracking next-up run in France before being confirmed for a trip down under.

The Clive Cox-trained Dark Angel four-year-old entered calculations for the spring sprints following back-to-back wins in Britain this season.

Second-up they broke through at elite level with a two length effort over Society Rock overcoming 59kg and barrier 15 (of 18) to win the Group 1 Diamond Jubilee Stakes (1207m) at Royal Ascot in June.

Then this month they made it successive top grade trophies with another easy kill this time at Newmarket in the esteemed Group 1 Darley July Cup (1207m).

The Diamond Jubilee Stakes – Darley July Cup double success saw Lethal Force join an elite list of champs to previously complete the opening two legs of the Global Sprint Challenge (GSC) including former Caulfield Guineas – Oakleigh Plate hero Starspangledbanner.

They are now in line for the lucrative $600,000 GSC bonus should they come to Melbourne this coming season and take out the $1 million Group 1 Patianck Farm Classic (1200m) at Flemington on Emirates Stakes Day, Saturday November 9.

Their trip down under however hinges on how they perform and come through their August 4 assignment at France’s iconic Deauville racecourse, Lethal Force set to contest the Group 1 Prix Maurice de Gheest (1300m).

“That would be our first intended step from here, but as long as that all goes well then we’d have time for a healthy freshen up before considering heading over,” Cox told RSN’s Racing Ahead this week.

The riches on offer in Australia over the next few months are certainly very enticing Cox added, saying the preferred option would be to target those over any upcoming UK races.

“I admire the way you guys run your racing and the prizemoney clearly is very much better than it is in the UK at the moment.

“My owner, Robin and Alan Craddock, a father and son team, are very keen to explore that as well.

“It’s obviously a long way to come and obviously the horse’s wellbeing is key to making any decisions, but at this moment in time we are giving it every possible consideration and are keen to give it a go.”

The other possible Melbourne Group 1 target for Lethal Force would be the $1 million Group 1 Manikato Stakes (1200m) under the lights at Moonee Valley on Friday October 25 during the two-day Cox Plate Carnival.

Last year French filly Moonlight Cloud took out the Prix Maurice de Gheest and was subsequently defeated by a mere head by Australian turf great Black Caviar in last year’s Diamond Jubliee.

Follow the progress of Lethal Force right here at then to back your favourites when the spring Group 1 spring markets open head to where you’ll find the country’s premier range of horse racing odds!