Star French horseman Alain De Royer Dupre has confirmed he is targeting another win in the ‘race that stops a nation’ with his smart mare Verema 2013 Melbourne Cup-bound after her Prix Kergorlay win this month.
Royer Dupre prepared the first French-trained Melbourne Cup winner in the iconic two mile classic with Americain back in 2010, the now retired champ also having run fourth and 11th respectively in the subsequent two editions of the world’s richest handicap.
This Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival the trainer will be back for his fourth straight $6.2 million Group 1 Emirates Melbourne Cup (3200m) appearance, this time targeting Flemington Race 7 on the first Tuesday of November with his daughter of Barathea, Verema.
A four-year-old in Europe, five here, Verema has won four of her 12 starts for owner His Highness Aga Khan IV including her last two on the trot when ridden by Christophe Lemaire who rode fellow French galloper Dunaden to their 2011 Melbourne Cup victory.
The first was a nice three quarter length effort in the Group 2 Prix Maurce De Nieuil (2800m) at Longchamp in July.
She then backed up just over a month later for her most recent run, a half-length victory over Joshua Tree in the Group 2 Prix Kergorlay (3000m) at Deauville on August 18 which Americain won back in 2010 before his Melbourne Cup success.
Verema will now begin preparations to enter quarantine for her trip down under where she will be HH Aga Khan’s maiden Melbourne Cup starter.
“His Highness the Aga Khan is delighted to have his first ever runner in the Melbourne Cup,” Georges Rimaud, French manager of The Aga Khan Studs, said this week according to Racing Victoria.
“Verema is an improving filly that has won two consecutive Group 2 staying races against the colts. She likes good ground, travels well and is very consistent.
“Her trainer, Alain de Royer Dupré, who previously won the Melbourne Cup with Americain, believes she has the right profile to be competitive in this race, so His Highness decided to let her take her chance.”
The news also comes as a massive positive for the international profile of the Melbourne Cup to the world’s most prolific owners according to Racing Victoria’s international talent scout Leigh Jordon.
“His Highness the Aga Khan is one of the most influential owners and breeders in the world, so we are delighted that he has decided to send his first runner to Australia for this year’s Emirates Melbourne Cup,” Jordon said.
“We have seen French horses win two of the past three Cups and Verema will arrive in Melbourne with a similarly impressive form line.
“Fit and well, she will be one of the hardest to beat at Flemington, particularly with Alain de Royer Dupre overseeing her campaign.”
Official 2013 Melbourne Cup nominations close next Tuesday, September 3.
Already the Aussie bookmakers have Verema in the mix however paying $34 in the pre-nomination Melbourne Cup odds for her to win.
To check out the full Melbourne Cup betting markets, led by Darren Weir’s Puissance De Lune ($6.50), before they firm next week head over to bookmaker.com.au.
Right now at bookmaker.com.au first-time depositing customers are also eligible for a bonus welcome bet valued up to $500 simply by quoting the code BONUSBET when making their first deposit!