Racing Victoria General Manager Of Racing Greg Carpenter has revealed that Japanese stayer Admire Rakti is set to travel to Australia to contest the 2014 Melbourne Cup.
Japan famously dominated the 2006 edition of the Melbourne Cup when Delta Blues and Pop Rock quinelled the race, but tight quarantine restrictions have kept the best Japanese stayers away from ‘the race that stops a nation’; with Tokai Trick (12th behind American in 2010) the only Japanese horse to run in the Group 1 event in recent years.
Admire Rakti was touted as a potential Melbourne Cup runner last year before connections decided that the quarantine process would be taxing on the Heart’s Cry entire, but Carpenter told Racing Ahead this morning that the six-year-old would be heading to the 2014 Spring Racing Carnival along with stablemate Admire Light.
“There has been a flurry of e-mail from Japan over the past week and it looks as though we are absolutely guaranteed to have two Japanese horses travel again this year, which is great news,” Carpenter said.
“It will probably be Admire Rakti, who ran fourth in last year’s Japan Cup and his travel companion will be Admire Flight who has won more than $2 million in prizemoney and he is a high class horse, but he may be looking at a race like the Mackinnon Stakes.
“With all the elements coming together, Hong Kong, Japan, a European sprinter and the other horses; there are lots of horses coming for what is going to be a great Spring Carnival.”
Admire Rakti has performed at the highest level throughout his racing career and stamped himself as a stayer to watch with an impressive victory in the 2013 edition of the Group 3 Diamond Stakes (3419m) in Tokyo.
The talented stayer went on to finish fourth in the spring edition of the Group 1 Tenno Sho (3218m) in Kyoto and he performed well in the Group 2 Kyoto Daishoten (2413m) and Group 2 Copa Republican Argentina (2514m) before finishing fourth in the Group 1 Japan Cup (2413m).
Admire Rakti returned to the races in March with a second place finish behind the talented Gold Ship in the Group 2 Hanshin Daishoten Stakes (2614m) and was far from disgraced when 14th in the Tenno Sho on May 4.
His stablemate Admire Light is unlikely to contest the Melbourne Cup, but is expected to be set for the Group 1 Mackinnon Stakes (2000m) at Flemington on November 1.