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Melbourne Cup dream for Scriptwriter Team

IMAGO / Pacific Press Agency

With things quiet at home regarding the Melbourne Cup of late, we’ve been looking abroad for clues. England’s Flat season is at its peak right now and, thankfully, it is providing us with plenty of up pointers.

We’ve gone through recently just how good the latest Melbourne Cup contenders are, but now there is yet another to potentially add from the UK in the shape of Scriptwriter.

Ebor and Melbourne Cup the Main Targets for Scriptwriter

English trainer Milton Harris appears to be cooking up some ambitious plans. His Scriptwriter, known as a jumping horse, could be aimed at two major Flat races this year.

As well as taking in the Ebor at York on August 26, which is looking like being a barnstorming renewal with Cup pointers galore, he may also now join the rest of the Melbourne Cup runners at Flemington on November 7.

Competition is looking as fierce as ever for Cup places this year. That is partly due to some renewed interest from British and Irish trainers, including it seems Harris.

The trainer is hoping that his former Aidan O’Brien trainee can continue to show his Flat racing skills. He was a fine second at York on Saturday behind odds-on shot Hamish in the Group 3 Silver Cup over 2800 metres, beaten only a head.

Golden Ticket a New Motivating Factor

The main English summer target has always been the Ebor Handicap. That is run over the same course and distance as the Silver Cup.

For the first time this year, the Ebor offers the winner a golden ticket for the Melbourne Cup. Ballot exemption is a major motivating factor for trainers of stayers. The Ebor is now the only international race given ‘win and you’re in’ status.

As a result of Saturday’s fine performance at 10/1, Scriptwriter is now just 16/1 for the Ebor.

Who is Scriptwriter?

The name of Scriptwriter will be a completely new one to most Melbourne Cup fans. A four-year-old bay gelding by top miler Churchill (Aidan O’Brien), this young horse shone as one of the better juvenile hurdlers in Britain’s jumping game last National Hunt season.

Scriptwriter won the Triumph Hurdle Trial at Cheltenham, a Grade 2 race, among other strong performances. Immediately after his winning start over hurdles, he was well fancied for the Cheltenham Festival in March.

Milton Harris clearly saw that he still had plenty to offer on the Flat however. He won a good handicap at Wolverhampton on their synthetic surface in late December. After that, he was returned to hurdles running close in another Grade 2.

His date with destiny didn’t happen at the Cheltenham Festival. He was also just fifth at the Grand National Festival.

Returned to the Flat, Scriptwriter was seventh of 16 behind Cup favourite Vauban at Royal Ascot in June. He ran well there from a bad draw, now he has plenty in his favour going forward.

Gary Christie
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For more than 20 years, Gary has been immersed in the worlds of sports writing and betting. As well as writing on the subjects of sports and horse racing, Gary has spent years privately handicapping horse races around the world in order to bet professionally. While having appeared on TV and spoken publicly at racecourses, Gary has a passion for writing. He produces articles every day for various territories including North America, UK, Europe and Australia.
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