The Lonsdale Cup at York tonight could prove a key form race for the 2014 Melbourne Cup, with several runners in the Group 2 event a chance of making the trip to Australia for the 2014 Spring Racing Carnival.
Godolphin have confirmed that Cavalryman is all but certain to contest the Melbourne Cup for the second time in November and he will be chasing his third straight victory after taking out the Group 2 Princess Of Wales’s Stakes (2414m) and Group 2 Goodwood Cup (3218m) in impressive fashion.
The Halling gelding was included in the nominations for the Group 1 Caulfield Cup (2400m) that were released earlier this month, but Godolphin are yet to decide whether he will contest the $3.5 million event on October 18.
Mick Halford-trained Certerach has also been included in the nominations for the Caulfield Cup and he defeated Cavalryman to win the Group 2 Dubai Gold Cup (3200m) at Meydan earlier this year.
The six-year-old was slightly disappointing in both the Group 3 Curragh Cup (2816m) and Listed Challenge Stakes (2816m), but remains an outside chance of making the trip to Australia if he performs well in the Lonsdale Cup.
Richard Fahey-trained Angel Gabrial has also been included in the Lonsdale Cup field and was among the Caulfield Cup nominations, but at this stage is considered unlikely to make the trip to Australia.
Pale Mimosa was not included in the Caulfield Cup nominations, but trainer Dermot Weld has revealed that she is a chance of running in the Melbourne Cup after she recorded a comfortable win in the Listed Challenge Stakes (2816m) at Leopardstown in July 17.
Racing Victoria International Recruitment Officer Leigh Jordon said that Pale Mimosa would likely need to win another race to get her rating high enough to quality for the 2014 Melbourne Cup field and is hoping that she will perform well in the Lonsdale Cup tomorrow.
“In two starts this season, Pale Mimosa has been quite impressive, winning the Listed Challenge Stakes at Leopardstown and running third to Gold Cup winner Leading Light in the Vintage Crop Stakes,” Jordon told Racing Victoria.
“I met with Dermot when I was in Ireland and he expressed an interest in bringing the mare to Melbourne for the Melbourne Cup, so I think a win tomorrow would definitely boost her chances of making the trip.”
The 2014 Lonsdale Cup field is rounded out by Forgotten Voice, High Jinx, Times Up and Estimate.