There’s always a handy pool of stayers making their way to Australia in late winter and early spring and 2011 will be no different with the Europeans cueing up on mass.
The 2010 Melbourne Cup champion Americain has already been confirmed as coming from his base in France and the Royal Ascot carnival in England has unveiled a few more chances.
Luca Cumani has become a fixture in Melbourne over the past few years and he’s enjoyed reasonable success.
Purple Moon ran second in the 2007 Melbourne Cup, a result repeated the very next year by Bauer.
His two horse team which made the trip last year didn’t perform as well as he would have liked, however it appears as if they’ll be persisted with.
Manighar and Drunken Sailor both ran at the major carnival over the weekend with solid results behind top class winners.
Manighar was fourth in the Ascot Gold Cup, a trip of 4000m which was won by the highly impressive Fame And Glory.
Drunken Sailor meanwhile managed to come home in third across 2400m in the Hardwicke Stakes.
Manighar has a part owner (Troy Henderson) based in Melbourne, he said Cumani rated the run as career best so he’s showing plenty of good signs.
Henderson is spread across the globe, he is also involved with the runner up in the Chilean Derby, Sahara Sun, that horse too looks Melbourne bound in the spring.
It’s a similar story for the connections of Drunken Sailor, they enjoyed the trip south last year and want a chance to show the true ability of their horse.
It could even be a team of three for Cumani when Afsara runs in the Curragh Cup next week in Ireland, a good performance over the 2800m could book his ticket as well.
An interesting side note of the Hardwicke Stakes is that of the second placed horse Harris Tweed.
Many will of course remember the New Zealand horse of the same name which has already run in the Cup.
Given both horses performances there’s a chance they could run against one another should they come to Melbourne, a unique scenario which would force the English horse to change names.