Comeback king Jim Byrne is confident he can...
German horseman Andreas Wohler could get a chance at another success in the world’s richest handicap with his stayer Torcedor being considered for a Melbourne Cup 2019 bid down under this spring.
Wohler took out the 2014 Melbourne Cup with Protectionist, part-owned by Australian Bloodstock, who also have shares in veteran Fastnet Rock gelding Torcedor.
The French-bred galloper had his plans for a trip to Victoria shelved last Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival due to a virus and connections are keen to atone in 2019.
Held on Tuesday November 5, the $8 million Lexus Melbourne Cup (3200m) is the long-term plan for Torcedor whose last turf triumph was in a Group 3 over the two-mile distance at Ascot back in early May.
His following form during that campaign a year back was excellent and included the close third when under a length off the winner in the Group 1 Ascot Gold Cup (4014m) and his second behind the same galloper – Stradivarius – in the Group 1 Goodwood Cup (3215m).
It is that form Torcedor needs to bring to his next campaign with the horse not having run since a seventh in Group 1 company at Cologne over the mile and a half last September.
“The plan is to have him nice and fit and go straight into a lead up race to the German St Leger and then go straight into quarantine,” Australian Bloodstock director Jamie Lovett told the media this week.
“He’ll come out here in the second shipment and hopefully go straight into the Melbourne Cup.
“If he brings his Ascot form from 12 months ago he’ll be our main hope for the Cup.”
Current futures odds on the Melbourne Cup 2019 at Ladbrokes.com.au have Torcedor installed at $21.
Godolphin’s reigning Melbourne Cup champion Cross Counter ($15) leads the all-in markets out to be the first back-to-back winner in the ‘race that stops the nation’ since Makybe Diva’s three-peat in 2003-05.
Another international high-up the Melbourne Cup betting markets that looks on track for the iconic Flemington feature is the Dermot Weld-trained Falcon Eight ($21).
Irishman Weld made history when in 1993 he prepared the first ever Northern hemisphere-trained Melbourne Cup winner, Vintage Crop.
Weld enjoyed a second Melbourne Cup success with Media Puzzle in 2002 and could be in line for a third ‘Loving Trophy’ with his Galileo entire Flacon Eight owned by Media Puzzle’s breeders Moyglare Stud Farm.
The lightly-raced stayer enjoyed a third career success on July 6 at Sandown Park in the UK with jockey Frankie Dettori riding him to a narrow but gutsy victory in the Listed Coral Marathon (3200m).
“That was only the fifth race of his life. I look forward to training him for the next couple of years, that’s why I’m in no hurry this year,” Weld told Racing UK.
“The Melbourne Cup would be under consideration but whether this year comes too soon, we will see how he progresses in the autumn.
“There is a big race in this horse. I think he is a very genuine colt that stays very well.
“He has got a big future ahead of him, as he is just a work in progress.
“I think he will go all the way to a Group 1 in time.”
Check out the full futures markets on the Melbourne Cup race 2019 now at Ladbrokes.com.au.
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