The first overseas horses with ambitions of Melbourne spring racing carnival honours have been locked into quarantine ahead of their trip to Australia.
Hong Kong based duo Mighty High and Silver Grecian will be the first to arrive in the country after they complete the initial screening process at home first.
Mighty High is being sent on an illustrious Cup’s campaign while Grecian is destined for the Group 1 1600m contests.
Both horses bring with them a long list of credentials and a bag of prize money with some impressive performances around the globe.
Mighty High’s last start was at Group 1 level where he won the Champions & Chater Cup over 2400m at Sha Tin.
His main goal will be the $2.5 million Caulfield Cup on October 15 and assuming he continues to run well he’ll also make up part of the framework for the $6 million Melbourne Cup on the first Tuesday of November.
The French bred gelding is five years old and he will start off his preparation slowly in a 1700m handicap race at Caulfield on September 24.
Silver Grecian meanwhile is one year his junior but also boats a last start win in Hong Kong.
He’s set for a far tougher first up run on the same day though when he goes straight to Group 1 level in the Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes over 1400m.
He’s building towards an ultimate target of the $1 million Emirates Stakes at Flemington on November 5th over his ideal trip of 1600m.
The imposing grey gelding is already well travelled having earned Group 2 success when racing in the UK.
Both horses represent the well renowned stables of John Moore, a leading trainer who has presented runner in Australia before.
It’s been a while though, his last starter was Super Kid which ran in the Cox Plate of 2005.
All reports are that since that trip he’s been keen to return though, Racing Victoria’s International Recruiting Officer Leigh Jordon said it was simply a matter of having the right horses at the right time.
“Mighty High is a very talented stayer who has received big wraps from his jockey Darren Beadman who knows what it takes to be competitive in our biggest races,” Jordan said.
“Mr Medici, whom Mighty High defeated in this year’s Champions & Chater Cup, won that same race last year before running sixth in the Caulfield Cup so the form stacks up really well.
“Silver Grecian took time to find his European form when he first arrived in Hong Kong at the end of last year, but John has a really big opinion of the horse so he must be respected.”
The duo will remain in Quarantine in Hong Kong for the next couple of weeks before arriving at the Werribee International Horse Centre in New South Wales on September 6.
Joining them at the quarantine centre also from Moore’s stable will be Able One who was a champion in his own right winning the Hong Kong Champions Mile twice and also winning on debut in Australia in 2005.
He’s being sent back to Australia after having been retired from racing and will live out his life on a farm in New South Wales.