Australian Thoroughbred Bloodstock founder Darren Dance revealed today that European-trained stayer Jakkalberry will contest the 2013 Group 1 Melbourne Cup (3200m) without having a lead-up race.
Last year’s Melbourne Cup third place finisher has not raced since an impressive win in the Group 2 Dubai City Of Gold Handicap (2410m) at Meydan in March and will go into the ‘the race that stops a nation’ after an eight month lay-off.
The son of Storming Home was expected to take part in the American St. Leger Stakes (2714m) in Arlington in August, the race he won before coming to Australia in 2012, but trainer Marco Botti doesn’t believe he will be ready for the race after suffering a tendon injury in Dubai.
Dance admits that it is an unusual plan but clearly trusts the opinion of the master European trainer.
“I know it’s unheard of here in Australia but he’ll go into this year’s Cup first-up,” Dance told TVN.
“He had a setback in Dubai after winning there and he had some swelling around the tendon and we had to back-off him, but he’s done about two months on the treadmill now and he’ll start working properly at Newmarket any day now.”
The globetrotting stayer has taken part in races in seven different countries but has only competed in the Group 1 Japan Cup (2413m) and the Dubai City Of Gold since his run in 2012 Melbourne Cup.
Jakkalberry will have to defy recent history to win the 2013 Melbourne Cup as no European-trained horse has won the $6.2 million race without a lead-up run in Australia since Vintage Crop in 1993.