With the Melbourne Cup journey of Black And Bent over there is a lack of a real ‘fairytale’ horse in this year’s race.
There always seems to be one, whether they be a cheap purchase nobody wanted, an unlikely bush galloper working through the grades or even a veteran having their third or fourth attempt.
With the influx of well regarded internationals that appears to have been lost in 2011, at least it is as it stands now.
Looking further down the order of entry for the Melbourne cup, there are a few that could fit the fairytale bill as they battle to jag a spot in the race that stops the nation.
For kiwi trainer John Steffert he hopes he can fill the shoes left by Black And Bent with his aptly named Back In Black.
“’It could be a bit hit or miss but I’ve been dreaming about this since I was 12,” he said.
“”We are here to have a go.”
Back In Black is a six year old gelding having his first trip to Australia after consistent performances back at home.
He has just the eight wins from 39 starts but has finished in the top six in the vast majority of his races.
At his last start he ran fifth behind Jimmy Choux in the Group 1 Spring Classic across 2040m at weight for age level.
He will need a miraculous performance in Australia if he is to rank high enough for a Melbourne Cup start, his test coming in the Geelong Cup next Wednesday across 2400m.
Last season he ran the same distance when second in the Group 2 City Of Auckland Cup but will need another top three finish on Wednesday to satisfy the qualifying criteria for the Melbourne Cup.
In reality though he probably needs to win the race if he’s to incur a big enough penalty to scrape into the top 24.
It’s a big ask for a horse that’s never won over more than 2000m but Steffert has dared to dream in a race that can make dreams come true.