Tom Dascombe, the trainer of leading 2013 Melbourne Cup contender Brown Panther, has revealed that it is a dream come true to have a runner in the $6 million Group 1 event at Flemington next Tuesday.
Brown Panther has been one of the leading stayers in the United Kingdom since the 2011 racing season and Racing Victoria International Recruitment Officer Leigh Jordan has attempted to get Dascombe to bring his star stayer to Australia for the past couple of years.
The Shirocco entire has had just three race starts this preparation, winning the Listed Pontefract Castle Stakes (2413m) and Group 2 Goodwood Cup (3218m) before finishing a slightly disappointing fifth in the Listed Foundation Stakes (1986m), and Dascombe told Through Media that the 2013 Melbourne Cup has always been the major target for the six-year-old this season.
“The plan was always to come out here this time,” Dascombe said.
“We trained the whole year with this race in mind so we are in good shape and pretty happy with the way things are.”
Brown Panther has not done a great deal of serious work since arriving at the International Equine Centre in Werribee and has only cantered around the track following a testing gallop over 1400 metres on Tuesday.
Dascombe said he is happy with the condition of the Goodwood Cup winner and revealed that he would not do any more proper trackwork before the 2013 Melbourne Cup at Flemington on Tuesday.
“He looks really well,” Dascombe said.
“He looks great in his coat and he has plenty of energy.
“We sent him out fit and the idea was to give him ten days out here, give him one piece of work and see how he comes out of that.
“He will just canter away now.”
Brown Panther has shown a great deal of versatility during his racing career in Europe and has had plenty of experience over testing staying distances; finishing second in the 2011 Group 1 Ladbrokes St Leger Stakes (2937m) and third in the 2011 Group 1 Irish St Leger (2816m) before winning the Goodwood Cup.
The rising trainer is not expecting Brown Panther to have any trouble running out a strong 3200 metres and is confident his star galloper will get a good run into the race; no matter what happens at the 2013 Melbourne Cup barrier draw this afternoon.
“It should be fine for, he gets two miles well, and he has enough speed to drop back a little bit,” Dascombe said.
“We are not going to make the pace so we will have to be dictated to, but you would like to see a nice strong gallop all the way.
“He has always ridden the horse and obviously it is a different race and a different racecourse but it should all be time.”
Brown Panther is currently available at 2013 Melbourne Cup odds of $21 and has been one of the steadiest European-trained runners in betting markets.