The first planeload of European-trained 2013 Spring Racing Carnival contenders has flown out of Heathrow Airport in London and will arrive in Melbourne at midday tomorrow.
All nine horses that were expected to arrive in Australia this weekend are on the plane; with Simenon, Dandino, Forgotten Voice, Side Glance, Mull Of Killough, Trevieres, Ruscello and Opinion joined by Australian sprinter Shamexpress who is returning home after competing at the Royal Ascot and July Cup meetings.
Racing Victoria International Recruitment Officer Leigh Jordon said the plane left without any hiccups and the group will settle in at the International Equine Centre at Werribee tomorrow afternoon.
“They left at 7.30 from Heathrow this morning,” Jordon told Sky Racing HQ.
“They have three stops along the way – Amsterdam, Sharjah and Singapore – and they arrive around midday tomorrow.
“It is around about 27 hours door to door so it is a pretty big trip but all nine of them are on the plane safe and sound.
“They will join Lucky Nine who has been here a couple of days now at the same quarantine compound.”
Trevieres is set to be the first of the foreign raiders to appear at the races when he contests the Group 1 Toorak Handicap (1600m) at Caulfield on October 12; while Dandino, Simenon and Forgotten Voice are all hoping to earn a start in the Group 1 Caulfield Cup (2400m) a week later.
Dandino (55kg) and Simenon (54kg) are both assured of a place in the Caulfield Cup final field but Forgotten Voice is currently outside the top 18 in the order of entry and will need a number of the stayers above him to drop out of the race to earn a run.
“I have been chatting with the owner pretty extensively over the last couple of weeks and he is rolling the dice there is no doubt about that,” Jordon said.
“I think he is 28th in order so he will need a few to drop out but a lot of things can happen.
“The good selling point is there are a lot of other good races – like the Herbert Power Stakes, Geelong Cup, Queen Elizabeth and Sandown Cup – so there are plenty of other options for him.
“Obviously we want him in the Caulfield Cup and then into the Melbourne Cup.
“He has good form through that Glorious Stakes win at Goodwood and I know that he is a nine-year-old but you have to remember he missed two years off racing and only had twenty odd starts so he can’t be underestimated.”
Side Glance and Mull Of Killough are both set to contest the Group 1 Cox Plate (2040m) at Moonee Valley on October 26, while Ruscello and Opinion are expected to be entered in the second-tier staying events.