Murwillumbah trainer Matthew Dunn is looking...
Tonight a couple of potential 2014 Melbourne Cup horses in Brown Panther and Cavalryman will face off in the Group 2 Artemis Goodwood Cup (3200m) in Britain.
Both gallopers have been earmarked for a shot at the $6.2 million Group 1 Emirates Melbourne Cup (3200m) down under this spring, but first must tackle The Queen’s horse Estimate over the two miles at Goodwood.
Both the Saeed Bin Suroor-trained Cavalryman and Tom Dascombe’s defending Goodwood Cup winner Brown Panther have previous form in the ‘race that stops a nation’ and feature in the early Ladbrokes.com.au Melbourne Cup odds for November 4 this year.
Godolphin-owned Halling stallion Cavalryman was 12th to Green Moon in the 2012 Melbourne Cup, the veteran eight-year-old last seen winning the Group 2 Princess Of Wales’s Stakes (2414m) at Newmarket first-up on July 10.
They are one of three single figure hopes then for tonight’s Goodwood Cup clash along with Shirocco six-year-old Brown Panther and race favourite, the Sir Michael Stoute-trained Monsun mare Estimate.
“He was sixth in this race last year but returns to Goodwood in better form,” Bin Suroor said of Cavalryman.
“Racing over two miles will be no problem, although it looks a tough race.”
Brown Panther, co-owned by former star footballer Michael Owen, travelled down under last Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival and were far from disgraced when eighth to the Gai Waterhouse-trained Fiornete in the Melbourne Cup.
They’ve had four runs since including back-to-back Group 3 wins in May.
Their latest effort was a second over 2800m in a Group 2 at Longchamp, connections continuing to confirm plans for a second Melbourne Cup bid with the stayer who pays $34 to win the world’s richest handicap through Ladbrokes.com.au.
While Dascombe is happy with their condition he does rate Estimate as a hard horse to beat.
“Estimate is a very good horse and she beat us convincingly in the Gold Cup,” he said.
“But Thursday is a different day with a different track and a different distance and we are proven over the course and distance, which is helpful.
“Brown Panther was second in France earlier this month but I think that racing over there doesn’t really suit him as he doesn’t have that turn of foot that the French horses do.”
Last year’s Group 1 Ascot Gold Cup winner over 4023m Estimate resumed off a lengthy eight month break on when second in the same race narrowly failing to defend her title following an epic battle with the winner of the June 19 feature.
She’ll be out to atone then and re-enter the Group 1 winner’s stall tonight at Goodwood and hit the headlines for the right reasons.
Estimate is the biggest name of the contingent to have tested positive for morphine from Her Majesty’s stables recently, but is free to race while investigations into the likely case of feed contamination continue.
“Sir Michael has been delighted with her since Ascot, she has done everything he has wanted her to,” Her Majesty’s racing advisor John Warren said.
“The ground should be nice and quick and we’re going there hoping she runs another great race.”
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