Six of the 11 international Melbourne Cup 2015 raiders in Tuesday’s line-up for the two mile classic at Flemington Racecourse are out to become the first since Vintage Crop to win without the benefit of a previous Australian run.
Back in 1993 the Dermot K Weld-trained Irish raider Vintage Crop became the first non-Southern Hemisphere Melbourne Cup winner in history.
Saluting as a 14/1 shot from barrier five of 24, the galloper had his lead-up into the ‘race that stops a nation’ back home at the Curragh winning that year’s Group 1 Irish St. Leger to earn his, in the end, successful trip down under.
Since then five more international runners have taken the ‘Loving Trophy’ offshore with Weld’s other champion Media Puzzle (2002), Japan’s sole winner to date Delta Blues (2006), the French-trained duo of Americain (2010) and Dunaden (2011) who went to back, and last year’s then German-trained Protectionist (2014).
The connections of all five of those successful Melbourne Cup raiders didn’t run the gauntlet and not run their horses on Aussie soil first with lead-up runs down under helping the gallopers adjust before taking out the world’s richest handicap.
Three of the six all took out the Group 3 Geelong Cup (2400m) in the lead-up, a double a local hope is out to achieve in the $6.2 million Group 1 Emirates Melbourne Cup (3200m) this year with the David Hayes & Tom Dabernig-trained Almoonqith paying $16 through Ladbrokes.com.au to do so.
Media Puzzle, Amerciain and Duanden were the others to do it while Delta Blues came off a third in the 2009 Group 1 Caulfield Cup (2400m) and Protectionist ran a fast finishing fourth behind his win 12 months ago in the Group 2 Herbert Power Stakes.
This year the six Melbourne Cup internationals going into the feature without a previous Australian star are:
- #5 Big Orange ($51): Michael Bell’s Duke Of Marmalade gelding won the Group 2 Goodwood Cup (3219m) carrying 61kg over the tow miles in late July before a last start seventh to fellow Melbourne Cup hope Max Dynamite in the Group 2 Lonsdale Cup (3300m) at York in August. He carries a manageable 55.5kg on Tuesday with Jamie Spencer in the saddle, but is drawn wide in barrier 23 of 24.
- #8 Max Dynamite ($13): Shorter odds offered for William Mullins’ Irish galloper who won the Lonsdale Cup last time out by a big 4.5 lengths giving him a two mile record of one win and three seconds from seven starts. A hurdler and flat race he carried 58.5kg to victory last time out and gets in with 55kg for his Australian debut from gate two with Frankie Dettori retaining the ride.
- #9 Red Cadeaux ($26): Barrier eight for three-time Melbourne Cup runner-up, the Ed Dunlop-trained veteran now a 10-year-old and in the field for the great race for the fifth straight year. He was second 12 months ago, drops a kilo in his weights to 55kg this time out and was third last start in the Group 3 Geoffrey Freer Stakes (2672m) in mid-August.
- #12 Sky Hunter ($41): Still at double figures but an early Melbourne Cup market mover, Saeed Bin Suroor prepares this Godolphin galloper who jumps from gate seven and whose last start was a second in Group 3 company over 2213m in September. He carried 61kg that start and has to be considered with only 54kg this week.
- #18 Kingfisher ($34): One of two in the race for Ireland’s Aidan O’Brien, this Galileo stallion was eighth with 62kg in the Irish St Leger in mid-September and drops to just 53kg. The weight is right but is the form?
- #20 Bondi Beach ($21): Shorter priced of the O’Brien stablemates, this lightly-raced four-year-old was runner-up in the Doncaster St Leger over 2917m last time out and has just his sixth start on Tuesday boasting two wins and three seconds so far. Super consistent and down from 57.5kg to just 52.5kg with Brett Prebble aboard, but has the hoodoo Melbourne Cup barrier (18).
Get behind the internationals or back the Aussie contingent in the Melbourne Cup betting markets now at Ladbrokes.com.au and for each unique bet placed get an entry into ‘The Melbourne Cup Prize Draw’ giving away over $70,000 in prizes this season!