Former Victorian-based trainer Jane Chapple-Hyam will return home this Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival bringing with her smart veteran Mull Of Killough who is being set for the Cox Plate 2013.
The Mull Of Kintyre gelding, racing as an eight-year-old in Australia, was one of 90 first acceptors for the iconic $3 million Group 1 WS Cox Plate (2040m) earlier in the week.
With quarantine deadlines fast approaching for the October 26 classic, Chaple-Hyam has confirmed Mull Of Killough will enter isolation at Newmarket in the UK later this week ahead of their first southern hemisphere trip.
“He goes into quarantine on Thursday. He will spend a fortnight here in quarantine and then another fortnight at Werribee (International Horse Centre) on the other side,” Chapple-Hyam, daughter of former Liberal Party politician Andrew Peacock, told PAA this week.
The galloper has had 27 starts to date for eight wins, the most recent of which was the Group 3 Earl Of Sefton Stakes (1810m) at Newmarket in April.
They have been in flying form this season across the globe including a credible fifth behind Military Attack in the Group 1 Singapore International Cup (2000m) in May.
They were also runner-up behind Aljamaaheer in the Group 2 Summer Mile Stakes (1609m) at Ascot in July before heading to the USA.
There they ran in the Grade 1 Arlington Million Stakes (2011m) on a firm track to finish eighth behind Real Solution.
Now they will race on the other side of the world down under with the Cox Plate 2013 on the radar having been one of the star international invitees earlier in the year.
“He’s been invited to the Cox Plate and when you are asked to something like that, you don’t turn it down,” Chapple-Hyam said.
“I’m from Melbourne so it would be great to win a race like that.
“It is their premier weight-for-age race and you just don’t turn down invitations like that.”
Mull Of Killough was one of four northern hemisphere-trained runners paid up for at first declaration stage for Australasia’s weight-for-age championship on Tuesday along.
If any four of those accept it will be the first time in nearly 10 years a European-trained runner takes their spot in the Cox Plate field.
The last was German raider Paolini who ran 10th behind Savabeel in 2004.
The other Europeans in the mix at this stage are fellow English galloper Side Glance, the Jonathan Pease-trained Group 1 winning French champion Maxios and Trevieres.
Trevieres is owned by Australian connections Kevin and Colleen Bamford of 2010 Melbourne Cup winner Americain fame.
The next round of 2013 Cox Plate acceptances close on September 24.
You don’t have to wait to get your bets down however with Cox Plate markets already open and going off at Ladbrokes.com.au – home of the spring’s best Group 1 horse racing markets!