Gai Waterhouse’s recent European acquisition Café Society is one of a host of internationals staking their Caulfield Cup 2014 claims with a run at Goodwood in Great Britain on Friday night.
The Motivator four-year-old steps up in class in the Group 3 Coutts Glorious Stakes (2400m) as they look to earn a qualification for the $3 million Group 1 BMW Caulfield Cup (2400m) down under this Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival.
Futures Caulfield Cup odds for the October 25 feature are already open at Ladbrokes.com.au ahead of next Tuesday’s nominations.
A winner of three of their 10 starts to date, the former David Simcock-trained Café Society is yet to be added to the markets but a win at Goodwood overnight will see the Australian bookmakers stand up and take notice.
They won their last start for Simcock in May at Windsor over 2336m before finishing a credible third after a confusing run in the Listed Wolferton Handicap (2011m) at Ascot on June 20 in their debut for Waterhouse.
Waterhouse purchased the progressive stayer at a London sale for $630,000 with the syndicate behind the buying eyeing the $6.2 million Group 1 Emirates Melbourne Cup (3200m) for them on the first Tuesday of November.
Simcock still has the horse in his care until they enter quarantine even though their officially listed as a Waterhouse horse.
“Basically the plan is for him to go to down to Australia for the Spring Carnival,” Simcock confirmed.
“It’s a Group 3 and if he can finish in the first three then he qualifies for certain races down there.
“The plan is to continue in those sort of races until he goes into quarantine.
“It’s a more competitive race than I would have liked but he’s in good order.
“I’ve been speaking to Gai frequently, and she’s been setting out the criteria that she wants.”
Café Society, a $6.50 chance for Glorious Stakes, isn’t the only possible Spring Carnival contender on show in tonight’s clash either.
Race favourite is Pether’s Moon ($2.50) who was defeated under a length last start at Newmarket behind Cavalryman in the Group 2 Princess Of Wales’s Stakes (2414m).
The form of that race was franked last night when the Saeed Bin Suroor-trained Cavalryman beat home stablemate Ahzeemah in the Group 2 Goodwood Cup (3200m) with both the Goldolphin-owned stayers now being considered for the 2014 Melbourne Cup.
Pether’s Moon’s connections are reportedly also considering a Spring trip down under for the galloper depending on their performance tonight.
Also in the mix for the Glorious Stakes are the likes of the Godolphin’s former St Leger Stakes winner Encke ($4.50) with the rails run from barrier one and the Luca Cumani-trained Galileo stallion Quest For Peace ($6.50).
Australian owned OTI-raced Quest For Peace is no stranger to racing down under, under the name My Quest For Peace, having come over for the spring of 2012 when fifth in the Caulfield Cup and 10th to Green Moon in the Melbourne Cup.
They stayed on in Australia with Melbourne’s Peter Moody for last year’s winter and spring then but failed to finish in the money in their subsequent six runs and so return to Cumani at Newmarket.
“He seems in good form and is ready to go but we’ll have to see if he retains his old ability or not,” Cumani said.
Encke meanwhile hasn’t raced since their 2012 St Leger win at Doncaster after being banned because of the Mahmood Al Zarooni drugs drama.
“We hope that he can show the same enthusiasm and level of ability that he displayed as a three-year-old,” their trainer Charlie Appleby said.
“He is giving all of the right signs at home but you will never know for sure until he gets on to a racecourse.
“He is not 100 per cent but is fit enough to do himself justice. We should get a good idea of where we are with him and hopefully we can think about a nice autumn campaign.”
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