A standout performer in Britain and Ireland through the 2014 racing calendar so-far, trainer Saeed Bin Suroor has confirmed classy stayer Willing Foe for a maiden Australian appearance in Tuesday’s featured Group 1 Melbourne Cup at Flemington.
Securing a commendable race record of five wins and as many minor places from just 15 competitive starts so far, Willing Foe debuted to racing for a hard-fought sixth amongst classy competitive in a minor over 1904m in late 2009.
Announcing his racing arrival through a four race 2010 campaign highlighted by consecutive victories in the Beyond The Barriers Maiden Stakes (2055m), Classified Stakes (2066m) and Blue Square Handicap (2414m), the Dynaformer gelding appeared at the races just two times in 2011; finishing fourth in the Totescoop Handicap (2017m) and a close second in the November Handicap (2414m) at Doncaster.
Returning to racing in particularly strong form in 2012, Willing Foe ran third in the Owen Brown Handicap (2414m) first-up before comfortably taking out the renowned Ebor (2816m) ahead of a field including the likes of fellow 2014 Melbourne Cup acceptor Royal Diamond.
Progressing to credible third place finishes in the Group 3 Prix Gladiateur (3100m) and Group 3 Cumberland Lodge Stakes (2414m), the gelding out of Thunder Kitten won the Listed Aston Park Stakes (2670m) in his only 2013 appearance and has finished second in the Group 3 Geoffrey Freer Stakes (2670m) and a fighting fourth in the Group 1 Irish St Leger (2816m) in the lead-up to the Melbourne Cup this year.
Allocated the slightly wide barrier 17, Willing Foe has been confirmed to be partnered by recently crowned Sydney Premiership-winning jockey James McDonald in the 2014 Melbourne Cup and is required to carry just 55kgs.
Can Willing Foe deliver on current $26 for success and win the 2014 Melbourne Cup, or will one of his classy rivals find the line in the clear?
Melbourne Cup Horse Form: #13 Willing Foe
- Barrier: 17
- Weight: 55kgs
- Jockey: James McDonald
- Trainer: Saeed Bin Suroor
- Owners: Godolphin
- Age: 7YO
- Gender: Gelding
- Breeding: by Dynaformer from Thunder Kitten
- Career: 15-5-2-3
- Win: 33%
- Place: 33%
- Last 6: 338124
- Prize Money: $369,656
- Track: 0-0-0-0
- Distance: 0-0-0-0
- Current 2014 Melbourne Cup Odds: $26
Why Willing Foe Can Be The 2014 Melbourne Cup Winner
- Very good first-up form; has finished outside the places just once first-up, including two wins
- Gets in Well with weights – required to carry just 55kgs
- Partnered by in-form hoop James McDonald
- Noted performer on tracks of all grades in all corners of the globe
- Has reportedly taken well to time in Australia
- Lightly-raced, well looked-after, flies under the radar
Why Willing Foe Will Not Win the 2014 Melbourne Cup
- Allocated wide barrier 17; may have to do too much work too early
- Has never competed over two miles
- Yet to be trialled competitively in Australia
- Likely brought as travelling companion for leading Godolphin hopeful Cavalryman
- Enjoys damp, soft surfaces, Flemington likely to produce firm racing surface Tuesday.
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