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Ace Irish horseman Dermot Weld could be lured back down under for a third shot at the ‘race that stops a nation’ with Melbourne Cup 2014 plans brewing for the weekend’s Lonsdale Cup winner Pale Mimosa.
Weld was the first trainer to prepare an international Melbourne Cup winner back in 1993 when Vintage Crop made history.
He was back nearly a decade later to make it two wins in the world’s richest handicap with Media Puzzle saluting in 2002.
Missing the Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival action last year, Weld is looking more and more likely of making the trip down under this season with his flying Singspiel mare Pale Mimosa.
The five-year-old has well and truly entered calculations for the $6.2 million Group 1 Emirates Melbourne Cup (3200m), running at Flemington Racecourse on Tuesday November 4.
Two length winner of the Listed Challenge Stakes (2816m) second-up at Leopardstown in July, Pale Mimosa raced again on Friday night and made it two on the trot.
Going out at short odds in the Group 2 Weatherbys Hamilton Insurance Lonsdale Cup (3299m) at York Pale Mimosa showed she could handle the two miles when Pat Smullen guided her to a half-length win over the Queen-owned Estimate with Times Up in third.
She tracked up the leaders and travelled strongly over the final 400 metres before hitting the front over the final furlong and staying on strongly in a nice effort.
Pre-win the Irish mare was at $34 to win the Melbourne Cup through Ladbrokes.com.au in their futures markets, and despite her weekend success remains at that same price in markets led by Gai Waterhouse’s Sydney Cup winner The Offer ($13).
Pale Mimosa has been tested at elite level just once before when a distant seventh in a very one paced effort behind Voleuse De Coeurs in the Group 1 Irish St Leger (2816m) last September.
Last seen running 12th behind The Offer in the Group 1 Sydney Cup (3200m) at Randwick on April 19, the now Michael Moroney-trained Voleuse De Coeurs is also paying $34 to win the Melbourne Cup this spring.
Weld however isn’t 100% convinced of a Melbourne Cup campaign with Pale Mimosa saying the track conditions on Friday night helped her cause.
“We will see (coming for the Melbourne Cup),” The Age reported him as saying post-win.
“The problem is she loves a bit of ease in the track and the surface today was beautiful.
“We will sit down and discuss her plans but she is a wonderful staying mare.”
Friday night’s Lonsdale Cup runner-up Estimate meanwhile could also be among the Melbourne Cup nominations taken early next month.
The Sir Michael Stoute-trained Monsun mare improved on a dead last in the Group 2 Goodwood Cup (3218m) behind 2012 Melbourne Cup 12th placed stayer Cavalryman, who ran fourth in the Lonsdale Cup, showing her ability over the distance.
If Estimate arrives in Australia and lines-up in the capacity 24-starer Melbourne Cup field she will be the second runner in the race for the Queen of England who saddled-up Arabian Story back in 1997 for its sixth behind Might And Power.
The dour staying mare is likely to run next-up in the Irish St Leger before Stoute makes the call on a Melbourne Cup bid.
Lonsdale third placegetter Times Up and the Saeed Bin Suroor-trained Goodwood Cup winner Cavalryman are both also to be entered for the Melbourne Cup on the back of their Friday night performances.
“It’s been a great result for the race, things are looking good and it would be a testament to the quality of the Melbourne Cup if we can have the first four over the line in a race like the Lonsdale Cup,” Racing Victoria‘s international talent scout Leigh Jordon said on Saturday.
“I think the Queen’s been represented once before and it will be super if we could have another runner from that stable competing in Australia.
“Naturally it would be sensational if we could have Dermot Weld back, he’s a sensational trainer and he showed that with his efforts internationally and here in Australia.
“In the case of Estimate she’s come back to her best after an indifferent run the other day so with the three majors looming in Australia the feedback continues to be positive.”
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