English trainer Tom Dascombe has a race against time for his classy stayer Brown Panther to recover from a high temperature to secure a start in the Group 1 $6.2m Emirates Melbourne Cup (3200m) at Flemington on November 5.
Brown Panther has been off his food because of an elevated temperature and Dascombe had to abandon plans to run in the Group 1 €200,000 Gain Irish St Leger (1 mile, 6 furlongs) at the Curragh in Ireland on Sunday.
Dascombe is hoping for a quick recovery from his tough stayer with the deadline to go into quarantine for the trip to Australia being on September 26.
“We would love to go to Melbourne but we’ve only got ten days or so between now and quarantine beginning. If we are going to go there he needs to get better quite quickly,” Dascombe told the Racingpost.com.
“The first thing I plan to do is to get him better and everything is on hold until then.”
“He’s in the Long Distance Cup on Champions Day and the Melbourne Cup.
Brown Panther was going into the Irish St Leger as one of the top chances following his three and a half lengths win over Godolphin’s Alzeemah in the Group 2 £100,000 Artemis Goodwood Cup (2 miles) at Goodwood in England on August 1.
“He has not even got a temperature any more but he has gone off his grub. (The Irish St Leger) is a Group 1 race and with all the travelling to consider as well I didn’t want to risk it. If he ran and ran flat I’d shoot myself.”
If Brown Panther is forced to miss out on the trip to Melbourne, Dascombe will run the five year old in the Group 3 £200,000 The QIPCO British Champions Long Distance Cup (2 miles) at Ascot on October 19.
Brown Panther is currently a $21 chance in Melbourne Cup markets which has the Darren Weir trained Puissance De Lune the favourite at $7 in front of English imports Sea Moon at $11 and Fiorente at $12.