A number of Melbourne Cup hopefuls will be out to follow in the footsteps of past winners Americain and Dunaden when they contest the Group 3 Geelong Cup (2400m) on Wednesday.
Both Americain and Dunaden won the Geelong Cup prior to tasting Melbourne Cup success and while the pair will instead contest the Caulfield Cup this year, the race will still contain plenty of quality.
Twenty three horses have been entered but that number is expected to reduce significantly with a number of nominated runners due to race this weekend.
One horse who has been all but confirmed for a Geelong Cup start is Maluckyday who was runner-up to Americain in the 2010 Melbourne Cup.
The six-year-old is again being aimed at Australia’s biggest race and showed promising signs when finishing second to Tanby in The Bart Cummings (2520m) at Flemington on October 6.
The Geelong Cup has become a popular lead-up race for international raiders chasing Melbourne Cup success and a number have again been entered this year.
Brigantin, who is currently at $17.00 in Melbourne Cup markets, is one of the more high profile nominations and is coming off a second in the Group 2 Priz Kergolay (3000m) in France.
Also yet to run in Australia is Michael Kent-trained import Tac De Boistron who won at Group 2 level in France at his last start.
High profile trainer Luca Cumani has entered Ibicenco and My Quest For Peace but only the former is likely to line up with My Quest For Peace set to run in Saturday’s Caulfield Cup.
Ibicenco is the third emergency for the Caulfield Cup and unless there are a number of withdrawals he is likely to be among the hopefuls at Geelong next week.
Other notable Geelong Cup entries include Lloyd Williams-owned quartet Tanby, Excluded, Midas Touch and Excluded, New Zealand gelding Back In Black and Peter Moody-trained mare Chateau Margaux.