Nominations for both the 2014 Cox Plate and 2014 Caulfield Cup were released yesterday and Racing Victoria’s International Recruitment Officer Leigh Jordon is delighted with the number of international horses that are a chance of coming to Australia for the 2014 Spring Racing Carnival.
The Cox Plate has never been won by a European-trained horse, but there is set to be unprecedented international interest in the 2014 edition of the race after a record 29 international horses were included in the nominations.
Leading Irish trainer Aidan O’Brien, Godolphin, Marco Botti, Andre Fabre and Luca Cumani all included horses in the 2014 Cox Plate nominations, while Dan Excel, Smoking Sun, Mukhadram and Trading Leather, who were all issued invitations by the Moonee Valley Racing Club, are still in contention for the Australasian Weight-For-Age Championship.
The Caulfield Cup has had a strong international flavour in recent years and that is set to continue during the 2014 Spring Racing Carnival after 44 international gallopers were included in the nominations for the Group 1 event.
O’Brien has included Kingfisher and Venus De Milo in the nominations, while Marco Botti could have as many as five runners in the Caulfield Cup; with last year’s runner-up Dandino, Renew, Seismos, Kelinni and Mount Athos all a chance of making the trip to Australia.
Jordon could not hide his delight at the quality of the international nominations that were received for both races and he paid credit to both the Melbourne Racing Club and the Moonee Valley Racing Club for the stellar work they have done to make the Caulfield Cup and Cox Plate more desirable options for overseas trainers and connections.
“Both the quantity and quality of international entries received for the Caulfield Cup and Cox Plate is a mark of the respect and interest that the Spring Racing Carnival and our premier racing now commands on the world stage,” Jordon said.
“It’s a vote of confidence to have training greats like Sir Michael Stoute, Aidan O’Brien and Saeed bin Suroor lodge entries and equally as important to have the next wave of UK trainers like Roger Varian, Marco Botti and Andrew Balding show genuine interest in our premier races.
“The Melbourne Racing Club’s move to increase the total Caulfield Cup prizemoney to $3 million as well as pay prizemoney down to 10th place has been well received by the connections of international horses and we now have the entries to translate into increased participation.
“Similarly, the work the Moonee Valley Racing Club has done in issuing Cox Plate invitations has been significant in attracting entries from some of the world’s best weight-for-age horses, including Hong Kong star Dan Excel who is already in Australia preparing for the race.”
First acceptances for the Caulfield Cup and Cox Plate will be released on September 9 followed by second acceptances on September 23 and third acceptances on October 7.