A capacity field of sixteen fillies will line up...
British horseman Sir Mark Prescott believes his UK stayer Pallasator has the ability but maybe not the manners for a successful raid on the 2016 Melbourne Cup down under this spring.
The veteran Motivator gelding caught the eye on Thursday night running a brave second to Michael Bell’s successful defending champion Big Orange in the Group 2 Goodwood Cup (3200m).
Bell is now keen to send Big Orange back to Australia for a second shot at the world’s richest handicap after the horse’s close fifth to Prince Of Penzance in last year’s $6.2 million Group 1 Melbourne Cup (3200m).
The famous Flemington Race 7 on the first Tuesday of November is also being considered by Prescott and the connections of Pallasator after his Goodwood Cup placing.
The horse hasn’t won a race since the Group 3 Henry II Stakes (3290m) back in May.
He backed up from that run finishing a disappointing 12th to current 2016 Melbourne Cup favourite Order Of St George in the Group 1 Ascot Gold Cup (4023m), but finished closer when stepped down in class and distance for his fourth in the Coral Marathon (3290m) before the Goodwood Cup performance.
A proven long-distance performer, Pallasator wouldn’t be out of place over the two miles in a Melbourne Cup field but his often unruly pre-race behaviour including refusing to be loaded into the barriers could prove problematic.
“He has been so horrible for so long that everyone loves him now,” Prescott said when comparing Pallasator to former tennis pro John McEnroe.
“I know (owner) Sheikh Fahad is keen and if he wanted to go, I would be very happy to as I’ve never experienced the Melbourne Cup before.
“However, it would be a very different experience for him. I think the roses on the lawns (at Flemington) wouldn’t so much need pruning as replanting!”
Last September Pallasator won the Group 2 Doncaster Cup (3621m) and Prescott said a title defence in that race could be next on the agenda.
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