Raiders out to make their mark

The Sportsman Special Issue - - News -

IT may not prove a vin­tage year for Cup hero­ics, but the over­seas raiders are cir­cling again, and while the Caulfield Cup will in­vite a coun­ter­punch from those run­ners trained here, the Mel­bourne Cup is shap­ing as yet an­other in­ter­na­tional carve-up.

At Caulfield, Syd­ney mare Un­for­got­ten should head the “down un­der” fight, although in­ter­na­tion­als will still pro­vide the mea­sur­ing stick, ei­ther set for a smash-and-grab win over 2400m, or even more of a step­ping stone into the 3200m at Flem­ing­ton.

Pray all you like, but the over­seas con­tin­gent again have a mort­gage on this year’s Mel­bourne Cup.

De­spite Euro­pean stars Stradi­var­ius and Vazirabad and last year’s 1-2 he­roes Rekin­dling and Jo­hannes Ver­meer all turn­ing their back, a new crop is ready to fire.

Here are my top five weighted chances in both Cups:

1. UN­FOR­GOT­TEN (52.5kg): High class fouryear-old Syd­ney mare who has come back strong this Spring and the one home-based stayer with the scope to turn back the in­va­sion. Won the Group 1 ATC Oaks (2400m) in the Au­tumn and there’s a real sense of tim­ing over this trip un­der a lux­ury weight.

2. CHEST­NUT COAT ( 55.5kg): Flem­ing­ton will be the main aim, but this bigstrid­ing fiveyearold Ja­panese stal­lion can win un­der this w e i g h t first-up at the same trip he an­nounc ed him­self as a po­ten­tial top stayer with back-to-back wins in Jan­uary. Trained by the ul­tra-shrewd Yoshito Ya­hagi.

3. BEST SO­LU­TION ( 57.5kg): Beau­ti­fully-bred five-year- old stal­lion from the New­mar­ket base of Saeed Bin Suroor breath­ing all over this. Won his last three over sim­i­lar trips, in­clud­ing the Group 1 Ger­man dou­ble GP Von Ber­lin and Preis Von Baden less than two weeks back, both times un­der 60kg.

4. KINGS WILL DREAM (53kg): The great Vic­to­rian hope from premier sta­ble of Dar­ren Weir who is on track af­ter pow­er­ing home in two re­turn runs over un­suit­able 1400m trips. Bolted in the Listed Morn­ing­ton Cup in the Au­tumn and now steps into the big time. Jury still out on ma­tu­rity, but at the weights must be in­cluded.

5. EMO­TION­LESS (55kg): Has taken a lot of time and pa­tience to get this six-yearold’s ca­reer fully run­ning but he is ready to ful­fil the prom­ise. From the Char­lie Ap­pleby New­mar­ket yard in the UK, loved his Listed win at New­bury (2000m) un­der 60kg in July and still on the rise. This suits for an as­sault at big odds. ter­rific with close plac­ings un­der big weights in both the Group 1 As­cot Gold Cup and Good­wood Cup, each time nar­rowly rolled by top-notch Stradi­var­ius. Trained by 2014 Mel­bourne Cup win­ner An­dreas Wohler, gets in okay at the weights and if he trav­els well, will be a se­ri­ous con­tender.

3. CROSS COUNTER ( 51kg): An­other spar­ing­lyraced four-year- old from the pow­er­ful UK Godol­phin yard who wrote his cre­den­tials on the wall with a dom­i­nant win in the Group 3 Gor­don Stakes at Good­wood be­fore be­ing edged out in the Group 2 Voltigeur Stakes at York. Sta­ble has a big opin­ion and gets in on a postage stamp weight.

4. MUNTAHAA ( 54kg): Look out if this Bri­tish grey geld­ing lines up. A bril­liant win­ner of the Ebor Hand­i­cap un­der 61kg off a six-week break and he by renowned UK stay­ing sire Dan­sili. A lightly-raced six-year- old who con­tin­ues to im­prove over longer trips and the Cup will be ideal un­der a gift-wrapped weight.

5. CLIFFS OF MOHER ( 56kg): Named af­ter the county Clare’s beau­ti­ful sea­cliffs Bur­ren re­gion, this Ir­ish-bred five-year- old from the Ai­dan O’Brien jug­ger­naut has been com­pet­i­tive in Group 1 and 2 com­pany all year, de­spite mix­ing form. Well placed, con­sid­er­ing he car­ried 4kg more in the Group 1 Eclipse and is now look­ing for two miles.

Un­for­got­ten.

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