English galloper Snow Sky is on track for a spring bid down under targeting the iconic Melbourne Cup 2015 at Flemington Racecourse on the first Tuesday of November.
The Sir Michael Stoute-trained Nayef stallion has already amassed over $2.8 million in prize money and will be looking to add to that dramatically with the world’s richest handicap, the $6.2 Group 1 Emirates Melbourne Cup (3200m).
Last Friday the Khalid Abdullah-owned Snow Sky secured talks of a Melbourne Cup assignment after the four-year-old scored an impressive win over former Goodwood Cup winner Brown Panther, who ran eighth to Fiorente in the 2013 Melbourne Cup as a 20/1 shot, in the Group 2 Yorkshire Cup (2800m).
There was half a length separating Stoute’s Melbourne Cup hope and Brown Panther last Friday, the winner posting a sharp Yorkshire Cup winning time that was 1.65 seconds faster than the course average over the 14 furlongs.
“He had to dig deep,” Stoute told Irish Racing speaking of the gutsy win.
“(Jockey) Ryan (Moore) said he was in front a bit soon and he just looked about a bit, but I’m thrilled.
“I think a mile and six is his limit, and he’s a very effective horse over a mile and a half.
“I think I’d like to finish up in Melbourne. I think it would be worth throwing a dart.”
Having confirmed the Melbourne Cup as a big end-of-year consideration, Stoute is yet to map out a plan of action to get the galloper cherry ripe for the ‘race that stops a nation’.
“We need to stop and think how we are going to program him now,” he said.
Leading the futures Melbourne Cup 2015 odds at Ladbrokes.com.au is the Yoshitada Munakata-trained Japanese stayer Fame Game ($15) who was last seen running second to Gold Ship in the Group 1 Tenno Sho (3200m) in March.
Hartnell ($17) is the next best in betting while Snow Sky is yet to be added to the markets.
Prepared by John O’Shea for racing powerhouse Godolphin, Authorized stallion Hartnell has already amassed over $1.46 million in prize money and has winning form up to 3200m.
The imported galloper won the Group 1 The BMW (2400m) in Sydney in late March three runs into his first campaign in Australia, and was last seen running fourth behind Chris Waller’s upset winner Grand Marshall in the Group 1 Sydney Cup (3200m) over the two miles at Randwick on April 11.
To check out the full Melbourne Cup all-in offerings head over to Ladbrokes and open an account with the bookie offering the hottest early markets for all the Group 1s!