The Melbourne Cup 2013 aspirations of English galloper Glen’s Diamond go on the line in the Goodwood Cup this week with the Richard Fahey-trained stayer out to prove their two mile potential.
A whole host of Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival-bound stars are engaged to face off in the Group 2 Artemis Goodwood Cup (3218m) on Friday morning (12:15am AEST) which could prove a telling guide for punters ahead of the $6.2 million Group 1 Emirates Melbourne Cup over the same distance at Flemington on November 5.
One of those early Melbourne Cup hopes is Intikhab gelding Glen’s Diamond prepared at Malton by Fahey who admits he’s been considering a trip down under for the six-year-old for a while now.
“I’ve had Melbourne in the back of my mind, but he’ll need to bounce back from the Curragh,” Racing Victoria reported Fahey saying this week.
A winner of five of their 17 starts to date Glen’s Diamond’s best effort was their Group 2 Yorkshire Cup (2816m) win two back on May 17.
They have twice raced over 3200m or above during their summer last year but was disappointing.
Their first go at the distance was a sixth to Cavalryman in the Listed Esher Stakes at Sandown Park followed by a dismal 10th to Times up beaten 27 lengths in the Group 2 Lonsdale Cup that August.
Fahey and connections are hoping they can make the cut this time however and earn a trip down under.
They will need to improve greatly on their last run to be in the mix however after Glen’s Diamond finished 17 lengths away fifth to the Aidan O’Brien-trained Ernest Hemingway in the Group 3 Curragh Cup (2816m) in Ireland on June 30.
“He has two ways of running, unfortunately,” Fahey said.
“We saw the good Glen’s Diamond at York, and the bad one at the Curragh.”
Another notable Melbourne Cup chance racing in the Goodwood Cup this year is then Brown Panther, the Tom Dascombe-trained Shirocco stallion coming off a nice first-up win over the mile and a half at Pontefract last month.
Brown Panther is owned by retired champion footballer Michael Owen and is out to surprise this week.
Of course it is the Luca Cumani-trained Mount Athos likely to attract the most attention on Friday, the Montjeu gelding being co-second favourite at $12 in the current Melbourne Cup odds.
Pre-nomination Melbourne Cup betting is led by Puissance De Lune ($9) who’s been getting all the praise from triple Melbourne Cup winning jockey Glen Boss.
Mount Athos then follows at $12, an equal price with the Gai Waterhouse-trained Fiorente who was runner-up in the ‘race that stops a nation’ in their Australian debut last spring.
Esteemed Newmarket-based Cumani is chasing his maiden ‘Loving Trophy’ having previously prepared two Melbourne Cup bridesmaids with Purple Moon (2007) and Bauer (2008) finishing second in their respective years behind Efficient and Viewed.
Emphatic nine length winner of the Group 3 Diamond Ormonde Stakes (2696m) at Chester back in May, Mount Athos was last seen running fifth to the ill-fated Thomas Chippendale in the Group 2 Hardwicke Stakes (2414m) at Royal Ascot on June 22.
The Goodwood run will be Mount Athos’ first over the two miles since their credible fifth to Green Moon in last year’s Melbourne Cup result.
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