British horseman Roger Charlton is reconsidering a 2015 Melbourne Cup bid with his Goodwood Cup runner-up Quest For More with the galloper entering quarantine in Newmarket this week.
Originally Charlton had ruled out a trip down under this Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival for a shot at the ‘race that stops a nation’ – the $6.2 million Group 1 Emirates Melbourne Cup (3200m) running at Flemington Racecourse on Tuesday November 3.
A six-year-old son of Teofilo, Quest For More won back-to-back races in May and June, including a solid one and a quarter length victory over the William Mullins-trained Max Dynamite in the Northumberland Plate (3219m) over the two miles at Newcastle.
Max Dynamite, last seen winning the Group 2 Lonsdale Cup (3300m) at York on August 21, is currently occupying the second line of the all-in Melbourne Cup betting markets at Ladbrokes.com.au sitting around $15 behind Japan’s Fame Game.
National Hunt jockey David Casey, who retires from riding this week, will travel along with Mullins to Victoria to assist with Max Dynamite’s Melbourne Cup bid.
Quest For More, a $26 chance in the futures Melbourne Cup odds backed up from his Northumberland Plate win on July 30 with a second, beaten a quarter length by Michael Bell’s class stayer Big Orange in the Group 2 Qatar Goodwood Cup (3219m).
Seventh to Max Dynamite in the Lonsdale Cup Goodwood Cup winner Big Orange is also paying $26 to win the Melbourne Cup for his connections.
Originally the Goodwood Cup second had Charlton take the Melbourne Cup in Victoria off the agenda for his runner-up Quest For More, but his son Harry told the media this week they were reconsidering a shot at the world’s richest handicap.
“He is in quarantine and has been out exercising with Max Dynamite,” he said.
“When he arrives he has the option of going immediately for the Herbert Power, like Protectionist did, or the Caulfield Cup seven days later, and after that the Melbourne Cup. It really depends on how he takes the travelling.”
The $200,000 Group 2 Herbert Power Stakes (2400m) runs at Caulfield Racecourse on Guineas Day, October 10, and the quality handicap produced last year’s Melbourne Cup winner Protectionist who ran a fast-finishing fourth.
The $3 million Group 1 BMW Caulfield Cup (2400m) meanwhile runs back at the same track a week later on October 17, and the last horse to complete the coveted Spring Cups double was New Zealand-trained mare Ethereal (2001).
Also entered into quarantine at Newmarket ahead of a trip to Oz is Ed Dunlop’s veteran 10-year-old Red Cadeaux, the gelding to appear in his fifth spring down under having run third in the Melbourne Cup a record three times.
Last spring the stalwart crossed four lengths away second to German raider Protectionist, and his latest run in Australia was during his return in the autumn when runner-up to Criterion in the Group 1 Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2000m) at Royal Randwick in Sydney.
Red Cadeaux was last seen finishing a distant third to Agent Murphy in the Group 3 Geoffrey Freer Stakes (2672m) at Newbury in mid-August, a race he crossed second in 2013 and fourth last year to Seismos.
Red Cadeaux is at $34 to finally win the Melbourne Cup this season.
The Melbourne Cup handicaps are released on Tuesday September 15.