Melbourne Cup Runners To Clash In Ormonde Stakes

By: Thomas Hackett
May 7th, 2014

Australian Thoroughbred Bloodstock-owned Kelinni will meet 2013 Melbourne Cup runners Mount Athos, Simenon and Brown Panther when he returns to European racing in the Group 3 Ormonde Stakes (2789m) at Chester on Friday.

Kelinni will make his debut for the Botti stable in the 2014 Ormonde Stakes at Chester on Friday.

Kelinni will make his debut for the Botti stable in the 2014 Ormonde Stakes at Chester on Friday. Photo by: Steve Hart

Kelinni joined the Marco Botti stable at the end of his 2013 Spring Racing Carnival campaign, that was highlighted by a ninth place finish in the Group 1 Caulfield Cup (2400m), and Australian Thoroughbred Bloodstock founder Darren Dance said last week that he is hopeful the Refuse To Bend gelding can recapture the form that saw him finish fourth in the 2012 Melbourne Cup (3200m).

The six-year-old will be having his first race start in the United Kingdom since he won at Wolverhampton on September 16 and is set to meet new stablemate Mount Athos in the Group 3 event on Friday.

Mount Athos won the Ormonde Stakes by a dominant nine lengths when prepared by Luca Cumani last year and raced fairly in two starts in Dubai in March; finishing a narrow third in the Group 2 Dubai City Of Gold (2410m) at Meydan on March 8 and eighth in the Group 1 Dubai Sheema Classic (2410m) at the same venue on March 29.

Both Kelinni and Mount Athos are expected to return to Australia for a tilt at the Group 1 Melbourne Cup (3200m) during the 2014 Spring Racing Carnival and have been included in the entries for the Group 2 Hardwicke Stakes (2414m) that will be held during the 2014 Royal Ascot meeting.

Willie Mullins-trained Simenon finished a most impressive fourth in the 2013 Melbourne Cup, but has failed to find his best form in subsequent race starts.

Simenon finished 13th in the Group 1 Japan Cup (2413m) and fifth in the Group 1 Hong Kong Vase at the end of 2013 and returned to racing, after a stint in the spelling paddock, with a fifth place finish in the Group 3 Nad Al Sheba Trophy (2810m) at Meydan on March 1.

The Marju gelding failed to beat home a single runner in the Group 2 Dubai Gold Cup (3200m) at Meydan on March 29 and was beaten by 22 and a half lengths by Tac De Boistron in the Group 3 Sagaro Stakes (3218m) at Ascot on April 30.

Rounding out the Melbourne Cup runners that are set to contest the Ormonde Stakes this weekend is Michael Owen-owned stayer Brown Panther.

Brown Panther has not been seen at the races since he finished a credible eighth in the Melbourne Cup last year and connections have not confirmed whether the son of Shirocco will be back for another tilt in Australia this year, but have included him in the nominations for both the Group 2 Yorkshire Gold Cup at York on May 16 and the Group 1 Gold Cup during the Royal Ascot Meeting.

OTI Racing-owned stayer Gatewood and Noble Mission, the half-brother to equine superstar Frankel, have also been included in the entries for the Ormonde Stakes.

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