This year’s Melbourne Cup is shaping up to have the biggest international involvement yet, with classy British stayer Brown Panther the latest horse to be touted as a contender for Australia’s biggest race.
The five-year-old, who is owned by former England footballer Michael Owen, kicked off his campaign with a second straight win in the Listed Pontefract Castle Stakes last month and is now likely to head to Group 2 Goodwood Cup on August 3.
From there he is expected to contest the Irish St Leger in September and connections have indicated a trip to Australia is very much in the pipeline.
“Things can go wrong so I hate making plans but hopefully he will run at Glorious Goodwood and we will then go for the Irish St Leger,” trainer Tom Dascombe said on the Racing Victoria website.
“From there we will see if we can take a trip to Australia. The Melbourne Cup is very much on our minds.”
The son of Shirocco’s biggest highlights to date have been the back-to-back Pontefract Castle Stakes victories but he has more than acquitted himself as a genuine Group 1 galloper in Europe.
Among his standout performances were a runner-up finish in the 2011 Group 1 St Leger Stakes and a close third in last year’s Irish St Leger.
Dascombe is confident that the future stallion can return to those heights this campaign, suggesting the horse is thriving and raring to go.
“He is in good shape and we are happy with him,” Dascombe said.
“He seems in really happy and he has kept all of his enthusiasm for the game so I couldn’t be more pleased with him.”