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Internationals arrive for Lexus Melbourne Cup

12 October 2022 Written by VRC

The second shipment of Lexus Melbourne Cup hopefuls have arrived from Europe in the early hours of Wednesday morning. We take a look at each of their prospects heading into the ‘race that stops a nation’™.

Six international raiders have settled into their new surroundings at the Werribee International Horse Centre, where will trained out of during their quarantine, ahead of the Melbourne Cup Carnival. They join the cup-bound, David Simcock-trained Rodrigo Diaz, who arrived at Werribee on September 21.

Former William Haggas trained galloper, Soulcombe, was also amongst this morning's arrivals but will not be aimed at this year's two-mile contest. He is to be trained by Chris Waller.

Loft (Marcel Weiss)

The German-trained Loft will give new Australian connections plenty to cheer about as he lands in Australia ahead of a Lexus Melbourne Cup tilt. Reigning Lexus Melbourne Cup champion jockey James McDonald will take the ride on Loft looking to make it consecutive wins in the race. Loft caught the eye when he travelled to the USA for the Grade 2 Belmont Gold Cup (3200m) at Belmont Park. Settling at the rear of the 8-horse field before circling his opponents and racing away to a comfortable victory in impressive time. That was his second consecutive two-mile success, solidifying his staying power over the Lexus Melbourne Cup distance.

Deauville Legend (James Ferguson)

A dual Group 1 winner in the UK, the son of Sea The Stars was impressive winning the Group 2 Great Voltigeur Stakes (2400m) to secure his spot in this year’s Lexus Melbourne Cup. The northern hemisphere three-year-old is trained by Newmarket trainer, James Ferguson who is familiar with travelling horses to Australia and was the travelling foreman for Charlie Appleby when Cross Counter won the Melbourne Cup in 2018. Kerrin McEvoy has been booked to ride Deauville Legend continuing his association with leviathan owner, Bon Ho. McEvoy is aiming to equal the record for most wins by a jockey in the Melbourne Cup (4).

Without A Fight (Simon & Ed Crisford)

Without A Fight will go straight into the Lexus Melbourne Cup with trainers Simon and Ed Crisford pencilling in the Cup as their long-term plan. He landed the Listed Grand Cup Stakes (2800m) at York UK before returning to York a month later to win the Group 3 Silver Cup Stakes (2800m) in dominant fashion, again getting the better of the Ed Dunlop-trained John Leeper. In his most recent outing, he finished second to the Charlie Appleby-trained Siskany in the Listed Godolphin Stakes (2400m) at Newmarket UK, before packing his bags for Melbourne.

Hoo Ya Mal (Gai Waterhouse & Adrian Bott)

The Epsom Derby runner up was purchased by the Waterhouse and Bott racing team on the eve of Royal Ascot in June with connections having the Lexus Melbourne Cup in their sights. The First Lady of racing will be looking to follow a similar path to when she purchased 2012 Cup winner Fiorente. He was close up in the Group 3 Gordon Stakes (2400m) at Goodwood UK before returning to the same track to win and win well in the Group 3 March Stakes (2800m). He was no match for up-and-comer Eldar Eldarov in the Group 1 St Leger (2900m) but connections believe the soft ground may have been to blame for the poor showing.

Camorra (Ben & JD Hayes)

Group 2 Curragh Cup (2800m) winning gelding joins the Lindsay Park Racing team of Ben and JD Hayes upon his arrival in Melbourne. The 6-year-old son of Zoffany is currently on the third line of betting in Melbourne Cup markets and will be looking to make his mark straight away in the race that stops the nation. He’s risen steadily through the grades in Ireland before his Group 2 success and connections felt obliged to test him against the best in the Group 1 Irish St Leger, behind the mighty Kyprios. He has been allotted 55kg in the ‘race that stops a nation’™.

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