Owner Lloyd Williams and his head trainer Robert Hickmott have a strong presence in the Drake International Cup 2013 nominations at Moonee Valley for Saturday, the race a possible lead-up for the $6.2 million Group 1 Emirates Melbourne Cup (3200m) in November.
There were a total of 25 nominations taken for this year’s $250,000 Group 2 Drake International Cup (2500m), also known as the Moonee Valley Gold Cup, five of which come from the Team Williams’ contingent.
Their top-rated runner is Sea Moon, winner of the Group 2 Herbert Power Stakes (2400m) at Caulfield on October 12.
The in-form import caught the eye in that run, which came just seven days after they were first past the post but regulated to second upon protest in the Listed The Bart Cummings (2500m) at Flemington.
It also saw them elevated to a $16 chance in the futures markets for the Melbourne Cup 2013 on November 5.
The other last start Hickmott-trained runner nominated for the Drake International this year is then Seville coming off a win in the Group 1 The Metropolitan (2400m) in Sydney.
The other Williams-owned gallopers who are a chance at running are then Mourayn, Masked Marvel and Tanby who is an unlikely acceptor as they run in the Group 3 Geelong Cup (2400m) this Wednesday.
Of all the stablemates the only two likely to run in the Drake International Cup field are Mourayan and Masked Marvel if the latter isn’t accepted for the $3 million Group 1 Cox Plate (2040m).
Other Geelong Cup runners who have been thrown into the Drake International Cup nominations as a precaution include Peter Moody’s Melbourne Cup hope Ibicenco, the Pat Carey-trained Brigantin and Nicky Henderson’s last-start Glorious Stakes (GB) winner and international raider Forgotten Voice.
Also worth for Saturday’s race are the likes of Gotta Take Care who ran third in the Bart Cummings at the start of the month, last start Cranbourne Cup third placegetter Mourinho who won the JRA Cup at Moonee Valley the run before, Herbert Power runner-up Oasis Bloom and one-time Melbourne Cup favourite Puissance De Lune who is still the $11 equal third favourite for the ‘race that stops a nation’.
See below for the full Drake International Moonee Valley Gold Cup 2013 nominations, the final field due for release on Wednesday.
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2013 Drake International Cup Nominations
Moonee Valley Racecourse – 26/10/2013
|1||BRIGANTIN (USA)||Pat Carey||101|
|2||FORGOTTEN VOICE (IRE)||Nicky Henderson||105|
|3||GOLDONI (IRE)||David Hayes||87|
|4||GOTTA TAKE CARE||Darren Weir||96|
|5||IBICENCO (GER)||Peter G Moody||102|
|6||LET’S MAKE ADEAL||Nigel Blackiston||95|
|8||MASKED MARVEL (GB)||Robert Hickmott||109|
|9||MOURAYAN (IRE)||Robert Hickmott||110|
|11||MUJADALE||Paul A Jones||81|
|12||OASIS BLOOM||Peter Morgan & Craig Widdison||103|
|13||OPINION (IRE)||Chris Waller||93|
|14||POLISH KNIGHT (NZ)||Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes||95|
|15||PRECEDENCE (NZ)||Bart & James Cummings||102|
|16||PUISSANCE DE LUNE (IRE)||Darren Weir||111|
|18||SEA MOON (GB)||Robert Hickmott||115|
|19||SEVILLE (GER)||Robert Hickmott||110|
|21||SNEAK A PEEK (ITY)||Peter G Moody||105|
|23||TREMEC (NZ)||John P Thompson||96|
|24||USE THE LOT||Sharna Valli||70|
|25||WHY NOT (GER)||David Hayes||84|