Marco Botti’s European-trained miler Guest Of Honour could be Melbourne bound this spring with connections eyeing a Toorak Handicap 2014 run for the recent Australian Thoroughbred Bloodstock (ATB) acquisition.
ATB purchased the Group 2 winning son of Cape Cross with an eye on bringing them down under for a raid on this year’s Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival.
The stallion has won five of their 14 starts to date most recently securing back-to-back black-types this time in.
Elite level performed last year when ninth behind Real Solution in the Grade 1 Arlington Million Stakes (2011m) in the USA, Guest Of Honour caught the eye first-up this prep at York in mid-June.
There they won the Listed Ganton Stakes (1609m) before heading to Ascot a month later for their latest effort, another mile win this time over Mull Of Killough in the Group 2 Summer Mile Stakes.
It’s excellent form for a $400,000 Group 1 Toorak Handicap (1600m) bid on October 11 with Guest Of Honour to undergo a number of veterinary tests before owners confirm their visit, after which Ladbrokes.com.au will add them to their futures spring odds.
Should they make it to the Toorak one thing working in their favour is their strong record on firm tracks, something missing from the form line of other international raiders.
“Fast ground is very important to him, as he just can’t handle the soft,” Botti was reported by racenet.com.au as saying after their latest victory.
“He’s an old-fashioned summer horse.”
The horse is one of a growing list of potential spring stars for ATB whose arsenal includes the fellow Botti-trained Dandino, Tac De Boistron and Kelinni.
Last year’s American St Leger winner Dandino travelled to Oz for the spring and caught the eye straight away when second to Fawkner in the Group 1 Caulfield Cup (2400m).
They also competed in the ‘race that stops a nation’ when a brave fifth behind the Gai Waterhouse-trained winner Fiorente in the $6.2 million Group 1 Emirates Melbourne Cup (3200m) at Flemington.
The 2014 Melbourne Cup is then a non-official aim for the Dansili stallion again this year, Dandino last seen running a failed sixth to Cavalryman in the Group 2 Princes Of Wales’s Stakes (2414m) at Newmarket on July 10.
Ladbrokes still have them in their futures Melbourne Cup betting markets at $34 though with odds led by Waterhouse’s Sydney Cup champ The Offer ($13).
Take Risks gelding Tac De Boistron meanwhile also has Melbourne Cup form in Australia having run second last in a disappointing effort during a stint with Victorian trainer Michael Kent back in 2012.
Kelinni is another ATB-owned runner previously prepared down under, the former Chris Waller-trained galloper’s most notable effort being their fourth to Green Moon in the Melbourne Cup two years ago.
Tac De Boistron is paying $41 in the Melbourne Cup futures odds at Ladbrokes.com.au this year while Kelinni is rated an $81 roughie.
Check out the full Melbourne Cup betting markets online now at Ladbrokes.com.au where you’ll find all the best bonuses on the spring features including exclusive futures specials.