Trainer Chris Waller has revealed that imported galloper Foreteller is still a chance to contest the 2013 Group 1 Melbourne Cup (3200m) after his fast-finishing fourth in the Group 1 Cox Plate (2040m) at Moonee Valley on Saturday.
Waller changed his mind at the last minute and entered Foreteller for the Cox Plate and his decision was justified when the Dansili gelding stormed home late to finish fourth behind Shamus Award, Happy Trails and Fiorente and pick up $130,000 in prizemoney.
The Group 1 Mackinnon Stakes (2000m) at Flemington next Saturday has always been the major 2013 Spring Racing Carnival goal for the six-year-old and Waller confirmed that the two-time Group 1 winner would still tackle the $1 million Group 1 event before a possible tilt at the Melbourne Cup.
“I’d say he’s a 95-percent chance of just running in the Mackinnon Stakes but there’s five per cent that he may then back up in the Melbourne Cup,” Waller told TVN.
“The horse is just thriving at the moment.
“He’s really enjoying his racing and I don’t want to simply rule out the Melbourne Cup at this stage.
“We’ll wait and see how he progresses during the week, see how he performs in the Mackinnon and make up our mind then but it could happen.”
Foreteller began his racing career in France but does not have the staying history of most European imports, generally racing over a mile, and is no guarantee to run out a strong two miles in the 2013 Melbourne Cup.
Since arriving in Australia his pet distance has been 2000 metres, although he won the Group 1 Makybe Diva Stakes (1600m) over a mile, and has stepped up to 2400 metres just once; finishing fifth behind Fiveandahalfstar in the Group 1 The BMW (2400m) at Rosehill Gardens earlier this year after over racing in the early stages of the race.
Waller said at the start of the 2013 Spring Racing Carnival that he was unsure whether Foreteller was up to Group 1 weight-for-age in Melbourne but the Ranvet Stakes winners has proven that he deserves to be considered among the leading weight-for-age horses in Australia.
He started his campaign with impressive performance in the Group 2 Warwick Stakes (1400m) before breaking through for his second Group 1 victory in the Makybe Diva Stakes.
The tough gelding had no luck in the Group 1 Underwood Stakes (1800m) but bounced back to his best form with a strong second place finish behind Atlantic Jewel in the Group 1 Caulfield Stakes (2000m) before his fourth place finish in the Cox Plate.
Waller could have up to three runners in the 2013 Melbourne Cup; with Hawkspur and Kelinni also on track for ‘the race that stops a nation.’