International recruiters from Racing Victoria have been working tirelessly to attract overseas horses to the Melbourne spring racing carnival, but could their work shift to jagging a monarch?
That’s the word on the street with the Queen’s stable looking more and more likely to be represented on the first Tuesday in November with a promising Melbourne Cup runner.
Tactician is fresh off running second in the Ebor Handicap last weekend and the strong showing is said to have firmed the likelihood of a Melbourne Cup tilt.
Adding to the conjecture around the Queen’s presence is that she will be in Perth of the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting only days before the race.
While her current itinerary doesn’t include a trip to Melbourne, given she’s the Queen it wouldn’t take too much work for that to be altered.
Tactician’s trainer Michael Bell isn’t giving much away just yet but he knows the extra edge it’d add to the already hugely popular Melbourne Cup carnival.
“Given who owns him, it would stop the nation even more than usual,” he said.
“We don’t want to build everyone’s hopes up and then let them down, so there will be no definite decision until John Warren (racing advisor to the Queen) is finished with the sales at Deauville.”
He is already nominated for the Caulfield Cup and should they also include the Melbourne Cup he’d be an almost certain starter.
“Tactician has been raised to (an official rating of) 108 since the Ebor and I’m told that will guarantee him a run,” Bell said.
“He will definitely get the trip and although I’ve never had a runner in the (Melbourne Cup) race, I believe you need a horse this on the way up rather than down.
“Everyone in Australia would love him to come and we will decide soon.”
While Buckingham Palace is adamant the Queen won’t be in Melbourne on November 1st, Flemington is well overdue for a visit.
Not since 1977 has her majesty visited the iconic circuit, previous to that she popped in to say hello in 1963 and 1954.