News from 1 October 2001
Gold Cup pointer to Melbourne Cup Winner
26 October 2001
The Group Two Gold Cup (2500m), run at night for the last three years, reverts to daylight this year and contains the highly-rated Melbourne Cup hopes Native Jazz and Big Pat.
They come up against last year's Gold Cup winner Yippyio who beat Brew before running a gallant second to him at Flemington.
Native Jazz had been second favourite at 7-1 for the Melbourne Cup until he was forced out of last Saturday's Caulfield Cup after suffering from a bout of colic.
The Myles Plumb-trained five-year-old, who is owned by former Crown Casino boss Lloyd Williams, received treatment which prevented him from running at Caulfield as the medication would have still been in his system.
Native Jazz, who has reportedly worked strongly this week at Flemington showing he had recovered well, has eased slightly out to 8-1 in the Cup behind the 5-2 favourite Universal Prince and Caulfield Cup winner Ethereal at 6-1.
The Adelaide Cup runner-up and Craiglee Stakes winner looks the one to beat on Saturday with 55kg under the set weights with penalties conditions and bookmakers have him early favourite at 9-4.
John Griffiths, who handles the feature doubles for leading bookmaker Michael Eskander, said the key Gold Cup runners from a Melbourne Cup point of view were Native Jazz, Yippyio, Big Pat and the first emergency, Rain Gauge.
Those four horses are virtually assured of a Cup start already with Rain Gauge the lowest ranked at 29th in the order of entry.
"Big Pat ran a good race in the Caulfield Cup and he doesn't mind Moonee Valley," Griffiths said.
Because the Gold Cup is not run under handicap conditions the winner can't be penalised for the Melbourne Cup.
The Cliff Brown-trained Spirit Of Westbury (8-1), who at present hasn't satisfied any of the elimination/qualifying clause requirements, needs to win to qualify for a Melbourne Cup start.
Perliffic, second emergency Dame Cath and third emergency Condies Fair must also win to become fully qualified.
The only runners not still in the Melbourne Cup are 1998 Gold Cup winner Prince Standaan and recent Canberra Cup winner Padfoot Charlie.
Yippyio, who carries the same weight (58kg) as last year, meets Padfoot Charlie 1kg better for finishing a little over four lengths from him in the Canberra Cup (2000m) on October 7.
The Bruce Cross-trained Padfoot Charlie ran fourth to Fairway in the 2000 AJC Australian Derby (2400m) at his only start beyond 2000m.
The last horse to win the Gold Cup-Melbourne Cup double was Kingston Rule in 1990, while Tawrrific ran third at the Valley before taking the Melbourne Cup in 1989.
Gold Cup pointer to Melbourne Cup Winner
26 October 2001
But the fourth generation trainer gives the well-travelled eight-year-old a much better chance in the Melbourne Cup (3200m).
"The Melbourne Cup suits him and he's good enough to earn prizemoney," said Schutz, who trained the first three placings in the last German Derby.
Schutz was also heavily involved in the training of champion mare Borgia who was prepared by his father Bruno to finish third in a Prix de L'Arc de Triomphe at Longchamp and second in a Breeders' Cup Turf in the US.
The durable Caitano, a Group One winner in Germany and Italy, loves travelling and has flown the equivalent of three times around the world to contest races in numerous countries.
Ethereal's Reverse Run
25 October 2001
Trainer Sheila Laxon is also favouring reversing her earlier decision to take the mare back to New Zealand this weekend.
Laxon says the mare has pleased her since last Saturday's win. She said a decision will on a Melbourne Cup start will be made before Friday but the odds are now in favuor of keeping her in Melbourne.
Vela said the Melbourne Cup is now a better option as the invitations for the Hong Kong Vase at Sha Tin in December will not be issued until November 8 and there is no certainty his mare will be invited despite her Caulfield Cup win.
24 October 2001
Karasi responded to Boss’ desperate riding to fight back and defeat Maythehorsebewithu in a vital qualifying race for the $4 million Melbourne Cup at Flemington on November 6.
Karasi won by only a short half-head, his narrow margin perhaps influencing VRC handicapper not to issue a Melbourne Cup penalty despite beating a field containing more than a dozen Melbourne Cup candidates.
Bowler quickly announced that he would not re-handicap Karasi, who carried 52.5kg and will drop to 50kg in the Melbourne Cup.
Karasi becomes trainer David Hall’s second runner as he already has last year’s Victoria Derby winner Hit The Roof fully qualified for a start.
Hit The Roof was a big disappointment in last Saturday’s Caulfield Cup but Hall said he was continuing with his preparation for the Melbourne Cup.
Hall said he would give Boss the option of riding Hit The Roof or Karasi in the Melbourne Cup.
Karasi is currently 37th on the Melbourne Cup order of entry but Hall expects him to make the final field of 24.
Karasi, who was imported from the UK two years ago, will go into the Melbourne Cup as one of the few horses with proven 3200m form as he has been placed in a Brisbane Cup and two Adelaide Cups since he landed in Australia.
Karasi was formerly owned by the Aga Khan and trained by in England by Sir Michael Stoute.
Tuesday Track Tests
21 October 2001
Native Jazz, scratched from last Saturday’s Caulfield Cup after suffering a mild colic attack last week, must please trainer Myles Plumb and owner Lloyd Williams in the gallop to confirm he is back on track for a start in the $4 million Melbourne Cup.
Having missed the Caulfield Cup it is critical to his Cup chances that he bit fit to start in the Moonee Valley Gold Cup on Saturday’s Cox Plate program.
Falvelon has been under a fitness cloud since he pulled back muscles when beaten in the Schillaci Stakes at Caulfield on October 10 when resuming from a spell.
Trainer Danny Bougoure would like to start Falvelon at Moonee Valley on Saturday in the $150,000 Schweppes Stakes (1000m) to keep his star on track for his return to Hong Kong in December but will be guided by his trackwork at Flemington on Tuesday morning.
21 October 2001
Ethereal will now carry 52kg, 2.5kg under weight-for-age for a four-year-old mare.
Melbourne Cup Betting
21 October 2001
UNIVERSAL PRINCE 3.25
NATIVE JAZZ 9.00
KAAPSTAD WAY 11.00
FREEMASON, SALE OF CENTURY, BIG PAT 13.00
SKY HEIGHTS, MARIENBARD 15.00
PRIMROSE SANDS, PERSIAN PUNCH 17.00
GIVE THE SLIP,HILL OF GRACE 21.00
RAIN GAUGE, CLONMEL, HIT THE ROOF, THE SECONDMORTGAGE, TOUCH THE GROOM, MR. PRUDENT 26.00
RUM, YIPPYIO 34.00
Philidor Qualifies For Melbourne Cup
12 October 2001
Philidor passed all qualifying conditions for the $4 million Melbourne Cup at Flemington on November 6 with a last stride win to give Cummings his fourth win in the Listed Race in the last five years.
Cummings won three straight from 1997 to 1999 with Grandmaster, Perpetual Check and Rebbor and just missed last year when Liberty Hall finished second.
Grandmaster, Perpetual Check and Rebbor all went on to run in the Melbourne Cup the same year and that is the goal Cummings now has for Philidor providing he can beat the ballot.
Philidor has only 49kg in the Melbourne Cup, 9.5kg under weight-for-age with the Cummings stable hoping he receives a 1kg penalty for his City Tatts Cup win to increase his chances of making the final field.
Anthony Cummings said Philidor would have his final lead-up in the Saab Quality at Flemington on November 3 where he will be assured of a place in the Cup field if he finishes first or second.
Philidor, a $170,000 yearling by deceased sire Chief’s Crown from a Sir Tristram mare, proved that he has the fortitude to measure up as a good stayer as he was able to win after a testing week of track gallops and trials.
He was a late scratching at Rosehill on October 10 because of unruly behaviour at the barrier, resulting in a stewards order that he could not race again until he passed a barrier trial test.
Cummings sent Philidor to Warwick Farm for an exhibition gallop last Wednesday and the backed him up in a barrier trial at Canterbury on Friday, where he was cleared to race on Saturday.
Carrying the colors of 1996 Melbourne Cup winner Saintly, Philidor relished a fast pace to sweep home from the rear of field and win narrowly and give Newcastle jockey Paul Falvey his first major win for the Cummings stable.
Philidor is raced by Cummings longtime client Dato Tan Chin Nam, who also raced Saintly and the dual Melbourne Cup winner Think Big along with the recent City Tatts Cup winners Grandmaster and Perpetual Check.
19 October 2001
VRC handicapper Jim Bowler decided Freemason's win in the G2 Winning Edge Presentation Stakes, carrying 56.5kg, didn't warrant a re-handicap.
Freemason has 53.5kg in the Melbourne Cup.
19 October 2001
Clonmel missed a start at Caulfield last Saturday after he knocked a leg but trainer Gai Waterhouse was confident he would be fit ro run at Caulfield this Saturday in the Coongy Handicap.
However he didn't accept with the Waterhouse stable reporting that he coughed after his work at Flemington on Thursday morning and had to be treated with antibiotics.
The latest problem puts Clonmel back another week and after racing only twice since a long spell places Waterhouse under pressure to have him ready to start in the Cup.
Melbourne Cup Sydney Lead
18 October 2001
Danyon, Henderson Bay, Velsontas, Gillespie, Tombola and Philidor are all entered in Australia's most famous race at Flemington on November 6.
However, the sextet is all lightly weighted in the Melbourne Cup and currently well down in the qualifying order.
Victory in the Listed Tattersall's Cup would likely attract a Melbourne Cup penalty, a point not lost on Gold Coast-based trainer Gerald Ryan who will saddle up Saturday's topweight Danyon.
"If he can win and get a penalty it might just get us into the Melbourne Cup," Ryan said of his last-start Metropolitan runner-up, owned by New Zealand businessman John Thompson, who also races Gillespie under the care of Jack Denham.
"Previous winners have got a penalty and if he wins I hope that will be the case again.
"He could have run in the Moonee Valley Cup but the winner can't be penalised."
Weight is a problem for Ryan on two fronts.
Danyon, who has 49kg in the Melbourne Cup, will carry topweight of 57kg in the Tattersalls and be ridden by Queenslander Glen Colless.
"I guess he's earned it but it's a bit of weight," he said.
"He won't be able to sprint as quickly with that sort of weight as he's been able to do carrying 53 and 54 kilos.
"Against that the horse is very well and he handles the inner track at Randwick.
"He pulled up enormously good after the Metropolitan.
"His Metropolitan run was excellent. He had to go back from the barrier and gave away about six or seven lengths to the winner (Dress Circle) and ran him to a length.
"Some said his run died at the 200m and while he ground away both he and Dress Circle still pulled away from the field."
Prior to the Metropolitan Danyon won three races on end - a restricted event over 2400m at Randwick then the Coffs Harbour and Wyong Cups.
"If he can't get into the Melbourne Cup I'll save him for the Queen Elizabeth on the last day of the carnival," Ryan added.
Cups King Bart Cummings has made the Tattersall's his own in recent years and will saddle up Philidor (Paul Falvey) on Saturday.
Cummings won with Grand Master (1997), Perpetual Check (`98), Rebbor (`99) and last year Liberty Hall finished runner-up to Edward Brae who broke down after passing the post and was subsequently retired.
Philidor also has 49kg in the Melbourne Cup.
The gelding was scratched at the barriers last Saturday at Rosehill and stewards ordered to him to barrier trial, a task which which will be undertaken at Canterbury tomorrow.
Philidor worked between races at Warwick Farm yesterday and looked a picture of health.
Canberra Cup runner-up Velsontas and Better Still will represent the Gai Waterhouse stable in the Tattersalls Club Cup while stablemate Zirascible is the fourth emergency.
Punch Sound After Flight
14 October 2001
David Hood, public relations manager for William Hill, said: "We know Persian Punch has class on his side and was only beaten three-quarters of a length when third in the race three years ago.
"This year he has shown that he is still a force to be reckoned with, with his wins in the Lonsdale Stakes and Goodwood Cup and punters are being patriotic with their support."
Persian Punch's carer Ross Arnott said the nine-year-old had recovered well from his 38-hour journey from England to Melbourne.
In recent starts, Persian Punch has won the Group Two Goodwood Cup and the Group Three Lonsdale Stakes at York, as well as finishing a head second in the Gold Cup at Royal Ascot and an unlucky fourth in the Irish St Leger.
William Hill's Melbourne Cup betting: 11-4 Universal Prince, 9-1 Native Jazz, 10-1 Kaapstad Way, 16-1 Marienbard, Persian Punch (from 25-1), Primrose Sands, Sale Of Century, 20-1 Big Pat, Ethereal, Freemason, The Secondmortgage, 25-1 bar. - AAP
12 October 2001
In the last 24 hours NSW TAB Fixed Odds was challenged to lay Ilze to lose $500,000 if she won the Melbourne Cup at Flemington on November 6.
The punter, closely associated with Ilze's connections, was eventualy set for one bet of $225,000 to $1500 each-way at odds of 150/1 It is believed to be the same punter who won a huge amount on Diatribe, owned in the same interests as Ilze, in last year's Caulfield Cup.
Ilze, who will start at Caulfield on Saturday, is now at 100./1 to win the Melbourne Cup.
The Gai Waterhouse trained Clonmel, who will race against Ilze at Caulfield on Saturday, was also been heavily backed to win the Melbourne Cup on Friday.
9 October 2001
The cargo flight left London with evergreen English stayer Persian Punch and picked up the German stablemates Silvano and Caitano in Frankfurt before stops in Hong Kong and Sydney.
The trio arrived at Tullamarine early on Monday afternoon and were transferred to Sandown racecourse where they will spend two weeks under quarantine restrictions.
Silvano and Caitano will start in the W.S. Cox Plate at Moonee Valley on October 27. Caitano is then expected to join Persian Punch in the Melbourne Cup at Flemington on November 6.
Desormeaux Melbourne bound
7 October 2001
Vinnie Roe, a four-year-old by southern hemisphere time, had been third favourite at 9-1 in the Melbourne Cup.
"I spoke to Dermot at 11 o'clock last night and he said the trip from Dublin via Hong Kong and Sydney to Melbourne was too difficult," said Greg Nichols, racing manager of Racing Victoria.
Meanwhile, Universal Prince firmed from 4-1 to 7-2 Melbourne Cup favouritism after flashing home to run second to Sunline in the Turnbull Stakes (2000m) at Flemington today in another eye-catching performance.
Native Jazz held his place as 6-1 second favourite with Kaapstad Way, after his fourth in the Turnbull, now third favourite at 12-1.
Primrose Sands firmed from 50-1 to 20-1 after her Turnbull third placing.
The George Hanlon-trained Touch The Groom came in from 66-1 to 33-1 after he took out today's The Banjo Paterson (2557m).
Yuppie, runner-up behind Touch The Groom today, came in from 200-1 to 50-1 for the Melbourne Cup.
Goldlphin Star Heads Cup Weights
7 October 2001
4.50 Universal Prince
7.00 Native Jazz
13.00 Kaapstad Way
16.00 Ethereal, Marienbard, Sale Of Century
21.00 Big Pat, Freemason, Persian Punch, Primrose Sands, Sky Heights
26.00 Give The Slip, Hit The Roof, Northerly, The Secondmortgage, Tyrolean
34.00 Curata Storm, Kutub, Touch The Groom