Melbourne and Caulfield Cups Draw Intense International Interest
At this rate, there may not be a barrier left for an Australian horse in the 2017 Melbourne Cup.
Horses from Germany, France, Ireland, England, Japan, France and for the first time, Scotland, all want a slot in the second-richest, but by far most prestigious, turf race in Australia. Of course, there are some from the land of the stayer, New Zealand.
The internationals are also taking interest in the Caulfield Cup, with 22 nominations emanating from the northern hemisphere.
Thirty-one have expressed interest in taking part in the Melbourne Cup.
It might be reasonable if Racing Victoria officials are expending any effort recruiting internationals for the Cox Plate, as it would seem that the Aussie trainers have learned that avoidance is the best route to take regarding any race in which Winx plans to participate. They could lure Arrogate out of California, although that idea may rest on the willingness of Moonee Valley to remove the turf and hold the race on dirt.
The list of internationals is long and deep on talent, with some aiming for an either/or scenario of the Melbourne Cup/Caulfield Cup, but nowhere on that list did we see any connections expressing an interest in the Cox Plate. If it was one of ours being asked to make that sacrifice, we would expect an appearance fee and a head start. It is doubtful that Winx would loiter in the barrier again as she did at the Group 2 Warwick Stakes.
One hundred and forty horses have expressed a desire to run in the Melbourne Cup, a nice increase from last year’s 124.
It is doubtful that any of the internationals would run in both the Caulfield Cup on October 21 and the Melbourne Cup on November 7. That sort of feat would require running all out in just over a fortnight. The last Caulfield Cup – Melbourne Cup double was 16 years ago, when Ethereal won both.