Gai Waterhouse has enhanced her chances of winning her first Melbourne Cup by adding French galloper Tres Blue to her team with a late entry payment of $5,500 to the Victoria Racing Club.
Waterhouse now has twelve entrants for the Group 1 $6.2m Emirates Melbourne Cup (3200m) at Flemington on November 5 with last year’s runner-up Fiorente the flagbearer for Tulloch Lodge.
Tres Blue is the winner of four races from ten starts and is a last start winner of the Group 2 €200,000 Lucien Barriere Grand Prix De Deauville (1 mile, 4 ½ furlongs) at Deauville, France on August 25.
Tres Blue, a Northern Hemisphere three year old, is also Group 1 placed when runner-up to Lucky Speed in the German Derby, the Group 1 €500,000 Sparda Deutsches Derby (2400m) at Hamburg, Germany on July 7.
The French stayer is closely related to several top class European gallopers including Group 2 Grosser Preis von Dusseldorf winner Tres Heureux and three-time Group 3 winner and Group One Prix du Cadran second Tres Rock Danon.
Waterhouse has been in the Melbourne Cup runner up stall on three occasions with Te Akau Nick, second to Vintage Crop in 1993, Nothin’ Leica Dane, second to Doriemus in 1995 and then second to Green Moon with Fiorente in last year’s Cup.
South Australian trainer Jake Stephens is also living the Melbourne Cup dream and has paid the late entry fee to add French stayer Gris Caro to the list of Melbourne Cup nominations.
Gris Caro was successful at his first Australian start, scoring a narrow win in the Listed $80,000 Advertiser Newspapers Balaklava Cup (1600m) at Balaklava on September 4 and Stephens has high hopes for the five year old.
Even though Stephens has added Gris Caro to the Melbourne Cup list, he is thinking he will probably target some easier races this campaign and take a path following his former stable star Alcopop.
“I’d probably rather target those second-tier races this time, he’s only four-and-a-half,” Stephens told The Advertiser.
“We could do that similar path to Alcopop and try the JRA Cup,” Stephens said.
“At 2000m, he’s going to be even better again.”
Alcopop won the 2009 Listed $100,000 JRA Cup (2040m) at Moonee Valley and the Group 2 Herbert Power (2400m) at Caulfield before starting the favourite in that year’s Melbourne Cup.
The crowd favourite was never out of trouble before finishing sixth to Shocking but finally claimed a Group 1 trophy taking out the 2012 Group 1 $1m Longines Mackinnon Stakes (2000m) at Flemington.