Trainer Tom Dascombe is confident that English stayer Brown Panther has the attributes of a Melbourne Cup winner and is good enough to win the race if everything goes to plan.
Brown Panther will enter quarantine at Newmarket in England on Wednesday before flying out to Australia and settling in at the International Equine Centre at Werribee on October 19.
A trip to Australia for the Melbourne Cup has been on the agenda for Brown Panther for the past twelve months and Dascombe told UK Sky Sports News Radio that a great deal of preparation has gone into getting the five-year-old ready for the ‘race that stops a nation’.
“It has been a year in the making really,” Dascombe said.
“We considered our options last year and decided not to go.
“Everything this year has been built around a trip out to Australia.
“You have to choose your races quiet carefully and that is why we were so disappointed that he couldn’t run in the Irish St Leger because we picked four races for the year in a gradual build-up to the main event.”
Brown Panther started his preparation strongly, with back-to-back wins in the Listed Castle Stakes (2413m) and Group 2 Goodwood Cup (3218m), but Dascombe’s well laid plans hit a road block when the son of Shirocco missed the Group 1 Irish St Leger (2816m) due to illness.
The talented entire made up for missing a run in the Irish St Leger by taking part in the Listed Foundation Stakes (1986m) at Goodwood and although he tired badly in the final stages of the race to finish fifth Dascombe still believes there were a number of positives to take out of the run.
“We addressed that problem, got around it and we just have to carry on now,” Dascombe said.
“It was pretty key because if anybody watched the race they would have seen how fresh he was.
“He missed a bit of training and he got himself a bit wound up so it was quiet key to get a run into him and take the edge off him a bit.”
Dascombe said that he believes everything has to go right for an international raider to win the Melbourne Cup but he is confident that his star galloper can run a big race and won’t be fazed by the lengthy travel time to Melbourne.
“We are there with a chance, a real chance,” Dascombe said.
“He has flown to Germany, he has flown to Dubai, he is a pretty laidback character most of the time and I don’t think the journey will worry him.
“It is just a question of keeping him eating and drinking as much as possible.
“You need everything to go 100%; you need a good draw and a good position in the race.
“If it all goes 100% he has a real chance.
“I think realistically if he finishes in the first five and win enough money to pay for the trip that has got to be the starting point.”
Dascombe will be the first English-based trainer to win the Melbourne Cup if Brown Panther is success on the first Tuesday of November.