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British horseman Mick Channon has relinquished the official training rights of smart European stayer Amralah with the Melbourne Cup 2014 hope now in quarantine before joining Robert Hickmott in Victoria for the spring.
Channon and connections this week nominated the Teofilo four-year-old for the world’s richest handicap, Amralah one of 148 entries for this year’s $6.2 million Group 1 Emirates Melbourne Cup (3200m).
The Flemington feature, held on the first Tuesday of November, attracted a record 31 international raiders.
Last start Group 3 Lancaster Stakes (2098m) winner Amralah however is not officially one of those as he will prepared in Melbourne by Hickmott who has a total of 12 Melbourne Cup nominees this year.
Gai Waterhouse’s Sydney Cup winner The Offer leads Melbourne Cup betting at $13 through Ladbrokes.com.au and returns to racing this weekend as a double figure chance in Moonee Valley’s Group 2 Dato’ Tan Chin Nam Stakes (1600m).
Two Japanese-trained stayers then follow in the Melbourne Cup odds with Bande ($15) and Admire Rakti ($17) the next best in betting, both out to become the second Melbourne Cup winner from Japan following the victory of Delta Blues in 2006.
Amralah meanwhile is currently listed as a $41 chance, the galloper as yet untested over further than a mile and a half.
He left the West Ilsley stable of Channon at the start of the week and is now in quarantine ahead of his transfer to Australia where at his next run he’ll be shooting for three on the trot.
Leading into the Lancaster Stakes on August 9 at Haydock Park Amralah also won the Listed Steventon Stakes (2017m) at Newbury but will need to be improving on those efforts to be competitive in the ‘race that stops a nation’.
Hickmott and owner Lloyd Williams meanwhile will be shooting for their second Melbourne Cup win in two years following the success of fellow British import Green Moon in 2012.
Before news of Amralah’s entry into quarantine he was being considered for a run in next weekend’s Group 1 Irish Champion Stakes.
In other international Melbourne Cup related news European contenders Red Cadeaux and Dandino both run in tonight’s (AEST) Group 3 September Stakes at Kempton Park.
Ed Dunlop’s veteran eight-year-old Red Cadeaux is on way for his fourth straight Melbourne Cup appearance, the gelding best known for his two second place finishes firstly behind Dunaden (2011) and then last year behind the Waterhouse-trained Fiorente (2013).
He was last seen running an eye-catching first-up fourth beaten 1.5 lengths by Seismos, another $41 Melbourne Cup chance at Ladbrokes.com.au, in the Group 3 Geoffrey Freer Stakes (2670m).
Dandino meanwhile is also no stranger to a Melbourne Cup field.
Marco Botti’s Dansili stallion, runner-up to The Pizza Man in the Listed American St. Leger Stakes (2714m) on August 16 at his latest start, was fifth in last year’s Melbourne Cup on the back of a second to the Hickmott-trained Fawkner in the Caulfield Cup.
Dandino is well fancied in the Melbourne Cup futures odds paying $21 while Red Cadeaux is at $34 to finally win the ‘Loving Trophy’.
In a wide open September Stakes betting market at Ladbrokes.com.au, Red Cadeaux and Dandino pay $5 and $6 respectively with markets lead by Cat O’Mountain ($3.70).
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