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Swedish trainer Pia Brandt has declared the Melbourne Cup 2015 as coming around too soon for her progressive stayer Bathyrhon but has long term plans to target next year’s edition of the ‘race that stops a nation’ down under.
A five-year-old son of Monsun, Bathyrhon was last seen racing at Royal Ascot earlier this month where he was far from disgraced crossing fifth behind the Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival-bound winner Trip To Paris in the Group 1 Ascot Gold Cup (4000m).
Brandt is now based just outside of Paris at Chantilly and has been making a mark on the racing scene in France and further aboard including the nice win two back by Bathyrhon who beat home Millie Et Mille in the Group 2 Prix Vicomtesse Vigier (3110m).
That Group 2 success showed she had a seriously Melbourne Cup type on her hands, but the $6.2 million Group 1 over the Flemington two miles on the first Tuesday of November isn’t likely to come around for Bathyrhon until 2016.
While happy with the horse’s efforts over more distance and up in class behind the Ed Dunlop-trained Trip To Paris, who currently pays $26 in the futures Melbourne Cup odds at Ladbrokes.com.au, Brandt believes her galloper will be at his best after a little more maturing and will target the world’s richest handicap after that has happened.
“I don’t think so for this year – it’s too early for him in his journey,” she told Racing Victoria.
“We were very pleased with him at Ascot.
“It wasn’t the ability that beat him, it was his lack of maturity.
“He wasn’t used to the way they run there, he lacked a bit of speed, and I think it would be the same in a Melbourne Cup.
“But he’s a young horse who will hopefully continue to get better.”
A trip to Australia is very much on the agenda for her and the horse in 2016 however, especially as Brandt’s husband has family in Sydney.
“My husband’s mother lives in Sydney and we’ve got lots of people over there following our horses,” she said.
“I went over about 15 years ago and really enjoyed the country. It would be lovely to come back with a runner one day.”
As for where Bathyrohn will next race this season, plans are still up in the air but Brandt said they were looking at a race at Longchamp – the Prix Maurice de Nieuil – next month as a possible option.
“We haven’t decided, he’s entered in a race at Longchamp on 14 July but that’s over 2800m,” she said.
“We’ll see how he is, but he’s very well after the Gold Cup.”
Another European with a possible Melbourne Cup agenda this season meanwhile is the OTI-owned Gatewood who has twice been a visitor down under during the spring, including a 12th behind German raider Protectionist in last year’s Melbourne Cup.
The John Gosden-trained Galileo stallion however is at $101 in futures Melbourne Cup betting this year after crossing a well-beaten third in a Listed 2400m race at Newmarket on Saturday.
OTI also have joint ownership of the French-trained Galio Chop whose next race is over 2000m at Deauville in mid-August after the galloper’s eighth to Free Eagle in the Group 1 Prince Of Wales’s Stakes over the same distance at Royal Ascot.
Prepared by Antoine de Watrigant, the horse is one of the dozen current Moonee Valley Racing Club (MRVC) invitees into the $3 million Group 1 W.S. Cox Plate (2040m) on October 24.
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