England’s Ed Dunlop has recently welcomed another possible Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival contender into his care with lightly-raced filly Sabor A Triunfo joining his Newmarket-based operation.
The former Chilean-trained four-year-old was purchased by Australia’s OTI Racing with an eye on the $6.2 million Group 1 Emirates Melbourne Cup (3200m) at Flemington on the first Tuesday of November.
OTI Racing have been interested in the progressive stayer since her breakthrough Group 1 success last March winning the Gran Premio Latinoamericana by an impressive five lengths.
But whether she’ll make the grade for this year’s edition of the world’s richest handicap is yet to be known with Dunlop saying they may not be ready for a shot at the ‘Loving Trophy’ until 2014.
“She is having to acclimatise,” said Dunlop.
“She is a bit woolly in her coat as this is her winter time.
“She was bought to see if she is a Melbourne Cup horse for next year – not this. It is a long-term project and not a quick one.
“She will need another month of cantering and I will then look for a mile-and-a-half fillies’ race.
“The British Horseracing Authority have given her a rating of 111 but I have no idea how the South American form compares with European.”
He’s encountering a number of interesting hurdles with Sabor A Triunfo and his fellow spring carnival hope, American expat Unbridled Command, too including the fact they are used to being ridden bareback.
“Both her and Unbridled Command are used to been ridden bareback around a racecourse so we are having to show them something different,” he said.
“It is a learning experience for me and I am trying to train them like they did in their home countries on flat surfaces rather than the undulations of Newmarket.”
Dunlop is on track for a third straight representative in the Melbourne Cup this spring however with his 2011 runner-up Red Cadeaux.
The veteran Cadeaux Genereux gelding finished only a nose away second to France’s Dunaden in the closest Melbourne Cup result in history two years ago as a $30 roughie.
They were well beaten in their second attempt last year however only managing to finish six lengths away eighth from the Aussie-trained Green Moon.
Connections are keen to give them a third go this season though despite Red Cadeaux being held up, out raced and found out last start when 15 lengths off the winner crossing ninth to Cox Plate invitee Al Kazeem in the Group 1 Princes Of Wales’s Stakes (2011m) at Royal Ascot on June 19.
Depending on how the shock English heat wave affects the ground conditions at Ascot Saturday week, Dunlop is looking at running them next-up in the Group 1 King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2400m).
“Red Cadeaux is working really well and is in great form,” Dunlop said.
“We want to run in the King George but it will be ground dependent as we wouldn’t want it too firm. We will make a decision next week.”