After passing a veterinary inspection by Racing Victoria, new Melbourne Cup favourite Deauville Legend has been passed to enter quarantine.
The in-form English galloper has attracted plenty of bets of late and is in stunning form at home.
It’s now all systems go for Deauville Legend. Trainer James Ferguson, a rising star in England, is full of confidence ahead of his young gelding’s Cup charge.
The son of mega stallion Sea The Stars was inspected personally by Dr Grace Forbes on behalf of VRC. The inspection was carried out after he beat a quality field in the Great Voltigeur at York last week.
Though there are plenty of top-class lead-up races to come, Deauville Legend leapt to the top of the Cup betting on Wednesday after surging clear in his Group 2 contest in fine style.
Voltigeur Form is Top Class
In landing the Great Voltigeur, Deauville Legend put away favourite Secret State. The Charlie Appleby runner was second in line for the St Leger behind favourite New London.
Deauville Legend would have been favourite for the Leger himself now, but cannot compete as a gelding. The last British Classic of the season will also feature Hoo Ya Mal, an expensive purchase by Gai Waterhouse and co. who will also line up in the Melbourne Cup on November 1.
The form then is rock-solid, making him the new $11 favourite. He will not race again before the bid day at Flemington. He will enter quarantine on September 25 and is due to arrive in Melbourne on October 11.
That strong form of course comes at a price. An Australian jockey will be used, but his handicap weight is a slight concern.
Deauville Legend won at Goodwood carrying 60kg and won the Voltigeur carrying 58. His trainer expects him to be given around 55-56kg in the Cup and is not worried about his racing weight.
Other British Stayers Could Enter Late
Late entries are allowed in the Melbourne Cup for horses running in certain races. Contests at York during the Ebor Festival last week, and races over in Deauville, France, are in this category including the Ebor Handicap itself.
The Ebor was won by Trawlerman under a fantastic ride from a rejuvenated Frankie Dettori. The John and Thady Gosden-trained galloper was tough as teak in the finish and clearly stays well. He is entered in Group 2 company on British Champions Day.
It has been suggested that Ebor contestants Trawlerman, Earl Of Tyrone and Alfred Boucher may all be late entries for the Cup. If this were to happen, the international challenge would look extremely strong.
Trawlerman is a most intriguing horse and a big improver. Should he be given a lighter handicap weight than Deauville Legend then he would be a big hitter for certain.
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