Sky Hunter has been backed into 2015 Melbourne Cup odds of $41 and the Godolphin stayer has been a market mover ahead of the $6 million event at Flemington on Saturday.
Sky Hunter has performed at the highest level of racing since he finished third behind Intello and Morandi in the Group 1 Prix Du Jockey Club (2100m) in June of 2013, but he has had a disrupted career since he was purchased by Godolphin at the end of the 2013 racing season.
The Motivator gelding made his racing debut for Godolphin with a flat effort in the Group 3 Gordon Richards Stakes (2012m) at Sandown Park on April 25 last year and he produced poor efforts in the Listed Aston Park Stakes (2761) at Newbury and the Listed Donnside Cup (2012m) at Ayr on September 20 before he finally broke through in the Group 3 St Simon Stakes (2419m) at Newbury on October 25.
Sky Hunter recorded the biggest win of his racing career to date when he took out the Group 2 Dubai City Of Gold (2410m) at Meydan on March 7 and after a break from racing due to injury he returned with a second place finish behind The Corsican in the Group 3 Dubai Duty Free Legacy Cup (2217m) at Newbury on September 19.
Trainer Saeed Bin Suroor has been happy with the way that Sky Hunter has settled in Australia ahead of the 2015 Melbourne Cup and he believes that the gelding has a genuine chance to deliver the racing operation their maiden win in Australia’s biggest race.
“I think that we have a good chance,” Bin Suroor said.
“He won a Group 2 in Dubai last time and he was also second in a Group 3 in England.
“The horse is doing good, he travelled really well from England to here and he worked really well.
“He is a tough horse and he is healthy, happy and fresh.
“He is ready to go and we will just need luck as usual.”
Sky Hunter was found with a bruised heel when inspected by Racing Victoria stewards at the end of last week and he was forced to undergo a further veterinary examination before he was cleared to contest the 2015 Melbourne Cup.
Bin Suroor is adamant that Sky Hunter took no harm from the temporary setback and he is confident that the six-year-old will go into the 2015 Melbourne Cup at peak fitness.
“When the farrier changed his shoe he did have a sore heel, but immediately we found it and by the evening he was fine,” Bin Suroor said
“The next day he was trained as usual, he cantered for three days and today he worked half speed.
“He is back to normal and there is no problem at all with him.”
Sky Hunter has been backed from 2015 Melbourne Cup odds of $67 into $41, while the other Godolphin runner Hartnell is priced at $31.
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