The two internationals who provided connections with a fitness scare just days out from the Melbourne Cup 2015 have both been passed fit to line-up in the ‘race that stops a nation’ on November 3 at Flemington Racecourse.
At the same time it was announced that Godolphin’s Saeed Bin Suroor-trained Sky Hunter and fellow European Quest For More trained by Wiltshire’s Roger Charlton in the UK both needed to pass veterinary assessments before being cleared to run in the world’s richest handicap.
Motivator gelding Sky Hunter is a $41 chance in futures Melbourne Cup odds at Ladbrokes.com.au, who are offering Best Tote or SP + 20% on the opening four Melbourne Cup Day races at Flemington, while Goodwood Cup runner-up Quest For More is longer in betting at $51.
Yet to race down under and going straight into the capacity 24-starter Melbourne Cup field without a previous Australian start, Group 2 winner Sky Hunter suffered a bruised heel on his left foreleg.
Quest For More, who debuted in Oz on October 21 running a disappointing second last when 16th to Almoonqith in the Group 3 Geelong Cup (2400m), meanwhile cast his left fore plate on Thursday.
Both have subsequently undergone vet checks by Racing Victoria’s Dr Brian Stewart along with the other top 35 runners in the latest Melbourne Cup ballot order, and both did enough to continue with their bids to win next week’s two mile classic.
After a strong canter on Friday morning at Werribee, Sky Hunter was on track to line-up for Bin Suroor in the race his trainer has saddled up 20 previous runners in for three Melbourne Cup seconds and a third.
“A few days ago when the farrier changed his shoe he looked immediately sore”, Bin Suroor told AAP.
“But since we put the shoe back, then he looks sound. Yesterday he canter and today he canter, no problem. He’s back to normal.”
Internationals have a strong record in the Melbourne Cup in recent years including 12 months ago when the then German-trained Protectionist scored a four length win over triple runner-up Red Cadeaux.
Prepared by Newmarket’s Ed Dunlop, Cadeaux Genereux gelding Red Cadeaux races as a 10-year-old in Australia this season lining up for his fifth consecutive Melbourne Cup in Flemington Race 7 next Tuesday.
His lead-up run was a third to Agent Murphy in the Group 3 Geoffrey Freer Stakes (2672m) back in mid-August and he currently pays $26 in all-in Melbourne Cup betting.
Dunlop, who is also represented this year by Caulfield Cup runner-up and $8 second favourite in betting behind Japan’s Fame Game ($3.80) Trip To Paris, admits he is nervous ahead of Red Cadeaux’s latest Melbourne Cup campaign.
The run next week could be Red Cadeaux’s last according to Dunlop, who hopes the horse can live up to the expectations of his many Australian fans once again.
“We have been very lucky to have him,” Dunlop told ABC News on Thursday afternoon.
“I know he hasn’t won but I know the whole of Australia has taken him to their hearts. I hope he doesn’t let anyone down.”
The 2015 Melbourne Cup field and barriers are out on Saturday afternoon following the Victoria Derby Day racing action at Flemington.
Before then check out the juicy futures prices on offer for your selections online at Ladbrokes.com.au – home of the ‘Melbourne Cup Prize Draw’ giving away a Ford Ranger 4X4 for one lucky Melbourne Cup punter this spring!