We continue to look closer at some of the top contenders for this year’s Melbourne Cup.
With the international challenge not only back but arguably stronger than ever before, our next in-focus horse is James Ferguson’s Deauville Legend who passed his veterinary inspection after winning at York and is heading for Melbourne on October 11.
Breeding Is About the Best Possible
Though Frankel is happily taking over from his daddy Galileo as the world’s best stallion, Sea The Stars may have something to say about who is really top dog.
In 2009, Sea The Stars was immense on the track. The colt won the 2000 Guineas, Derby, Eclipse, Juddmonte International and the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe. We may never see that achieved again.
As a stallion, Sea The Stars was already responsible for Taghrooda, Cloth Of Stars and Crystal Ocean, all of them first rate. Let’s not forget about Stradivarius either! This year, he reached a new level as Baaeed reached a rating of 135 at York, the same as him.
Sea The Stars then is a fantastic stallion. Deauville Legend is now showing high levels of class and no little stamina as he heads for Melbourne.
Deauville Form Backs Up Pedigree
Plenty of Melbourne Cup contenders are well bred, but their pedigree doesn’t always show in their form. Deauville Legend is beginning to really turn quality DNA into track performance however.
Gelded after his first run, it took him a little time to show his quality. His narrow defeat behind Secret State in a handicap at Royal Ascot was a good run, though he was in receipt of some weight from the horse he’s just beaten at York.
That was a stepping-stone however. He went on to win a Group 3 at Newmarket and improved again at Goodwood.
There, he gave away weight to winner New London, losing out by 1¾ lengths. That horse is now favourite for the St Leger which Deauville Legend cannot compete in.
Since then, he has routed them in the Group 2 Great Voltigeur. He’s improving all the time and looks a proper weight-for-age Group 1 animal.
Where Does He Rank Among Other European Candidates?
We advise that you keep these official ratings in mind, before comparing them to the weights each horse receives.
These horses don’t need to be allocated weights according to their British ratings. That said, the British and Irish handicappers know these horses inside and out. Here’s how the top European runners are currently rated:
- 116 Hoo Ya Mal – to be trained in Australia.
- 115 Deauville Legend
- 113 Tashkhan (has been 115).
- 110 Cleveland
- 110 Zechariah
- 106 Trawlerman (improving, could be late entry).
Look out for any of these horses being given a handy weight by the assessors for November 1.
Read more news about the Melbourne Cup.