International Plunder Down Under!

Hands off our Melbourne Cup!

While the Australian racing industry has long welcomed New Zealand challengers to our major events, in the last two last decades northern hemisphere raiders have focused their energies on the 'International Plunder Down Under'. To their credit, the foreigners have tasted success in two of the 'big three' at the Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival - the Caulfield Cup and the Melbourne Cup. The saving grace thus far has been that they've never managed to get their hands on both cups in the same year, nor the weight-for-age championship, the W.S. Cox Plate. But all that changed at Moonee Valley last Saturday when Ireland's Adelaide created history becoming the first international to pinch our Plate!

 

Image courtesy of: couriermail.com.au
Ireland's Adelaide storms to victory in the Cox Plate. Image courtesy of: www.couriermail.com.au

 

A week earlier, Japan's Admire Rakti staged a similar barnstorming finish to win the Caulfield Cup. With so many internationals in line for a shot at the Melbourne Cup, there's a distinct chance our 'two cups and a plate' will all be heading overseas for the first time in almost a century of 'big three' racing.

 

Image courtesy of: thesport.com.au
Japan's Admire Ratki wins the 2014 Caulfield Cup. Image courtesy of: www.heraldsun.com.au

 

Irishman Dermott Weld has a lot to answer for after bringing over Vintage Crop to win the 1993 Melbourne Cup. He was successful again nine years later with Media Puzzle. Japan's glory came in 2006, when Delta Blues beat home stable mate Pop Rock to give Katsuhiko Sumii a one-two finish! Then it was viva La France, with Americain winning in 2010, and Dunaden in 2011. In the Caulfield Cup, Lady Herries prepared Taufan's Melody in 1998, and a decade later it was Saeed Bin Suroor who trained All The Good. Twelve months after his Melbourne Cup victory, Dunaden saluted in the Caulfield Cup of 2012 for trainer Mikel Dezangles. Of course in 2014, Tomoyuki Umeda saddled up Admire Ratki.

 

Image courtesy of: www.thoroughbrednews.com.au
The Cox Plate and Caulfield Cup are gone! Is the Melbourne Cup also heading overseas?

Image courtesy of: thoroughbrednews.com.au

 

So with the Cox Plate and Caulfield Cup already on foreign soil, TattsBet has a look at the prime overseas contenders aiming to complete the 'International Plunder Down Under'.



Admire Ratki

Admire Ratki is favourite to become the first horse since Kiwi mare Ethereal in 2001 to complete the 'Cups double'. The seven-year-old entire was penalised a half kilo for his win at Caulfield and now must carry 58.5kg. The last horse to successfully carry a similar weight was Makybe Diva (58kg) when she won her third straight Cup in 2005.


Image Courtesy of: www.racingbase.comAdmire Ratki is in line for a Cups double. Image courtesy of: www.racingbase.com


Red Cadeaux

This is Red Cadeaux's fourth attempt at the great race and let's not forget he's twice finished a close second - last year to Fiorente and in 2011 to Dunaden. Since last November's brave effort at Flemington, Ed Dunlop's old timer has been beaten a combined 43 lengths in five starts, which is hardly confidence-boosting. Nine years old according to Australian racing standards, history is against this greybeard as no horse his age has won the Cup!

Image courtesy of: www.theguardian.com Red Cadeaux has twice finished a close second in the Melbourne Cup. Image courtesy of: www.theguardian.com.


Cavalryman

Willing Foe

Trained by Saeed Bin Suroor, Cavalryman is another veteran who has won 10 of his 38 starts, including three over two-miles. He has two wins and a fourth this campaign and has been competitive in Dubai. His stablemate, Willing Foe, is a lightly raced seven-year-old with five wins and five placings from 15 starts. Remember this trainer prepared All The Good to win the 2008 Caulfield Cup at $41!



Image courtesy of: fistfulotalent.com
Trainer Saeed Bin Suroor won the Caulfield Cup in 2008, now he wants the Melbourne Cup. Image courtesy of: fistfulotalent.com

Protectionist

Trained by Andreas Vohler in Germany, Protectionist is a progressive young stayer having won four and placed another four from just nine lifetime starts. At his first outing in Australia, the four-year-old flew home for a close fourth to Big Memory in the Herbert Power and drops from 59kg to 56.5 for this much harder assignment. However, he did win the Prix Kergolay at Deauville in France over 3000m previously and that's been a good Cup pointer in the past for internationals.

Image courtesy of: www.horseracing.com.auGerman raider Protectionist is a leading hope in the 2014 Melbourne Cup. Image courtesy of: www.horseracing.com.au


Seismos

With seven wins and five placings from 25 starts, Seismos is a six-year-old gelding trained by Marco Botti at Newmarket. He's backing up after running 15th, 5.5 lengths behind Admire Ratki in the Caulfield Cup, when he wobbled on the tricky circuit. At his previous start, Seismos was successful in a Group 3 over 2670m at Newbury (UK) beating home Red Cadeaux and he's down 3kg on that run. Seismos will appreciate the wide-open stretches of Flemington.



Image courtesy of: www.horseracing.com.au Marco Botti's Seismos is backing up after the Caulfield Cup. Image courtesy of: www.horseracing.com.au


Mutual Regard

Royal Diamond

Former top jockey Johnny Murtagh saddles up Mutual Regard and Royal Diamond. A five-year-old of immense talent, there's little doubt Mutual Regard can stay. He's won twice and been placed twice over 3200m, and won at 2400m (twice), 2600m, 2700m and 2800m. He's also finished second over 3600m, and has an overall record of 17: 7-4-3. This is a massive class rise, but he does drop significantly in weight. Stablemate Royal Diamond is far more experienced and has form against names like Harris Tweed, Brown Panther, Massyn, Voleuse de Couers, Leading Light and Ernest Hemingway.


Image courtesy of: www.thoroughbreddailynews.com
Jocky come trainer Johnny Murtagh has two live Cup hopes. Image courtesy of: www.thoroughbreddailynews.com.

My Ambivalent

Trained by Roger Varian at Newmarket in England, My Ambivalent is a five-year-old mare which has a handy record - 16 starts for five wins and six placings. She has been successful at Group 1 and Group 2 level, but only against her own age and sex. This mare likes to lead or race handy, so the 3200m might test. 



Image courtesy of: www.sen.com.au
My Ambivalent has solid form, but is it good enough for our Cup? Image courtesy of: www.sen.com.au



Chris Bombolas - Tatts Senior Writer

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