The Mailbag: Internationals Preview

A heap of international talent has arrived in Australia for the 2019 Spring Carnival. Racing experts from  The Mailbag are here help you keep track of their form and what they’re prepping for over the coming weeks.

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Cape of Good Hope

112 Timeform Rating

Trainer: David & Ben Hayes & Tom Dabernig

A listed grade winner at Epsom Downs first up last preparation and fourth in a Group 1 behind Sottass at Chantilly. He since failed to fire at Royal Ascot and in the Belmont Derby before running a respectable third in the Saratoga Derby. A bit of a nut case, but the Lindsay Park stable seem to have figured him out, producing him in the Caulfield Stakes to win a Group 1. Hard to see any further improvement than has been produced on Australian soil.

Target Races

Cox Plate (Odds Below) and Mackinnon Stakes


Chief Ironside

Trainer: David Menuisier

A solidly bred import for Australian Bloodstock, Chief Ironside has won two races to date, both over 2000m. His only run worthy of watching from last preparation was when he ran third in a Group 3 at Epsom Downs behind Zaaki.

Holding a 110 Timeform rating from that Group 3 placing, he would measure up to any Listed grade races in Australia over 2000m+. Big query at the distance if they do go towards the Cantala Mile as is suggested.

Target Race

Cantala Mile

 


Constantinople

Trainer: Joseph O’Brien

Progressed through the grades this preparation scoring a Group 3 victory in early May at The Curragh before running strong seconds the past three starts including a placing behind Logician in the Voltigeur Stakes at York. Now trained out of Lindsay Park and aimed at the 2400m Caulfield Cup, his last start 120 Timeform has him extremely well in at such a low weight.

Target Race

Melbourne Cup


Cross Counter

Trainer: Charlie Appleby

The Melbourne Cup winner of 2018, Cross Counter hasn’t won a race in his last three appearances. Running credible figures, Cross Counter has been running consistent Timeform Ratings below what he ran in the 2018 Melbourne Cup.

This stable know exactly what they need to do to get this horse ready for a big race and nothing I’ve seen this preparation would make me discount his ability to win back to back Melbourne Cups.

Target Race

Melbourne Cup


D’Bai

Trainer: Charlie Appleby

Returning for another tilt at Australian glory after a disappointing ninth in the Group 1 All Aged Stakes at Randwick in April. D’Bai’s very best run saw him record a 119 Timeform Rating over 1400m in Group 2 company in Dubai. A repeat that run ratings wise will see him competitive in any Australian Group 1 over 1400m.

Target Race: Unknown


Danceteria

Trainer: David Menuisier

A consistent performer this preperation, he has recorded 116, 118 and 117 Timeform Ratings including a last start Group 1 win in Germany.

He ran 4th in the Eclipse behind Enable which is a fair measuring stick to suggest he is top grade. Ratings wise, he is right around where previous Cup winners have been placed coming out to Australia and will maintain rock hard fitness with next start being his sixth run this preparation.

Target Race

Cox Plate (Odds Below) and Mackinnon Stakes


Downdraft

Trainer: Joseph O’Brien

An OTI import that progressed strongly through the grades back in Ireland with listed grade wins at Roscommon and Down Royal. Last start, when second in the Irish St Leger Trial Stakes, Downdraft got back too far in the race giving Southern France too large of a lead and did his best work late through the line. Looks the type that will appreciate 3200m.

Target Race

Melbourne Cup


Dream Castle

Trainer: Saeed bin Suroor

A Group 1 winner over in Dubai, Dream Castle for the most part had been a bit of a non-winner until last preparation where he progressed through the grades to win in Group 3, Group 2 and then Group 1 races before starting $3.50 second favourite behind Japanese superstar Almond Eye in the Dubai Turf.

Dream Castle then travelled overseas to run a reasonable 1.5L 5th at Longchamp in the D’Ispahan on a Soft track before failing to fire in the Queen Anne after that. His races run at Longchamp and Meydan would measure up well here in Australia.

Target Race

Cox Plate


Gold Mount

Trainer: Ian Williams

Failed to appreciate his move to Hong Kong in 2017 and was only able to score one win before a move back to the UK in April of 2019. Now trained by Ian Williams, Gold Mount immediately scored a strong 2800m victory beating Raheen House in the Ebor Grand Cup Stakes.

Last start in the Silver Cup Stakes at York, he looked home for all money until the horse seemingly switched off out front, losing the race to Red Verdon by less than a head. Not the type you want to be leading the Melbourne Cup with 200m to go!

Target Race

Melbourne Cup


Haky

Trainer: John Hammond

Coming off a successful long distance campaign over in France, Haky won a Handicap over 2400m before placing in the G2 Kergolay over 3000m behind Marmelo. He then ran second at Longchamp over 3100m in the Group 3 Gladiateur. Haky has won on soft or good tracks and handles Heavy. He has won his last two races over 2400m by 3L and 1.3L. Comes to Australia with a 111 Timeform Rating.


Target Race

Melbourne Cup and Caulfield Cup


Hunting Horn

Trainer: Aidan O’Brien

Used largely as a pacemaker over in the UK, Hunting Horn has run credible ever since winning the Group 3 Hampton Court Stakes at Ascot in 2018 by 4.5 lengths. This horse loves fast ground and is best seen over 2000m.

Target Race

Melbourne Cup


Il Paradiso

Trainer: Aidan O’Brien

Bred to stay the Melbourne Cup distance, Il Paradiso won three runs back in Handicap grade over 3200m before placing in Group 3 company at York in the Group 2 Lonsdale Cup Stakes behind Stradivarius and Dee Ex Bee. The Lonsdale Cup Stakes ran to a Timeform Rating of 119. Couple that rating with his north hemisphere 3YO weight allowance in the Melbourne Cup and you get a key contender for the cup this year.

Target Race

Melbourne Cup


Ispolini

Trainer: Charlie Appleby

Won in Dubai over 2800m by more than 10 lengths when recording a 120+ Timeform Rating in the Nad Al Sheba Trophy back in February. Ispolini followed that run up over the Melbourne Cup distance when second behind Cross Counter in the Dubai Gold Cup. Lead in run over in Germany saw Ispolini do what was needed to score an easy Group 3 victory over 2800m. Contender this year.

Target Race

Melbourne Cup


Latrobe

Trainer: Joseph O’Brien

A consistent type putting solid ratings runs on the board in every run this preparation, but Latrobe has won just 1 of his last 10 races which is certainly playing against him from a punters perspective. Two runs back, he won the Ballyroan Stakes at Leopardstown as favourite before managing just sixth in the Irish St Leger. Latrobe’s best Timeform Rating run of 119 was at Flemington last year over 2000m.

Target Race

Melbourne Cup


Magic Wand

Trainer: Aidan O’Brien

A six-time Group 1 placed filly, Magic Wand was fairly beaten into second in Group 1 grade last start in the Irish Champion Stakes behind Magical. There is little doubt that she will handle the conditions of a Cox Plate, but her record suggests she is a better place bet than win bet in most races.

Target Race

Melbourne Cup

 


Marmelo

Trainer: Hughie Morrison

Marmelo went to a new level in the 2018 Melbourne Cup recording a 123 Timeform Rating and it took an unbelievable run by Cross Counter to deny Marmelo the Cup. Since then, Marmelo has won twice but has failed to run within 3 points of his best rating. Handles any track conditions, but really shines on wetter tracks. Showed his class last start in the Group 2 Prix Kergorlay in France over 3000m winning well.

Target Race

Melbourne Cup


Master of Reality

Trainer: Joseph O’Brien

Produced a 123 Timeform rating run in the Ascot Gold Cup back in June, beating home Cross Counter and Raymond Tusk on that occasion. He is yet to break a 120 Timeform rating under 4000m which is an issue for the rating believers, but he was respectable enough when finishing fifth in the Irish St Leger over 2800m leading them around. He doesn’t possess a turn of foot and will need a strongly run 3200m to feature in our top race.

Target Race

Melbourne Cup


Mirage Dancer

Trainer: Trent Busuttin and Natalie Young

A Group 3 winner over the 2400m distance, Mirage Dancer handles any surface type and continues to run well in group company this preparation without winning. Ratings wise, Mirage Dancer ran a very competitive 119 Timeform Rating in the Hardwicke Stakes back in June and if the Busuttin and Young stable can find improvement in this horse, then Mirage Dancer will be well placed in any race over 2400+.

Target Race 

Melbourne Cup (Odds Below) and Caulfield Cup


Mustajeer

Trainer: Kris Lees

A recent majority share owner purchase for Australian Bloodstock, Mustajeer has run five times this season having won the Ebor handicap at his most recent start. Mustajeer was also placing in Group 1 company and ran a close second behind Master of Reality at Navan, beating home Southern France, Capri and Twilight Payment. Mustajeer is a sound horse that handles any racetrack condition which is a big bonus and there is no question about the horses staying the 3200m distance based on previous performances.

Target Race

Melbourne Cup

 


Prince of Arran

Trainer: Charlie Fellowes

Prince of Arran has been globe trekking since running third in the Melbourne Cup last year, but hasn’t scored this preparation. First up in Australia he ran very well for an equal career peak Timeform Rating of 118 in the Herbert Power, but still couldn’t manage a victory. Nicely placed again for another tilt at the Cup.

Target Race

Melbourne Cup


Raheen House

115 Timeform Rating

Trainer: William Haggas

A move to the William Haggas yard saw this horse record two career peak 115 Timeform Ratings first and second up this preparation before regressing in the Ebor in a race that didn’t suit speed wise. Raheen House is an out and out stayer that has not run below 2400m the last 12 runs. Important to note Raheen House started favourite last start in the Ebor Handicap.

Target Race

Melbourne Cup and Caulfield Cup


Raymond Tusk

Trainer: Richard Hannon

A quality stayer that will have no trouble getting a strongly run 3200m. Raymond Tusk carried a big weight in the Ebor Handicap when running fourth after finding trouble in the home straight. His last run over 3200m was 4 runs back when finishing second behind Dee Ex Bee in the Sagaro Stakes at Ascot. Raymond Tusk is on the verge of a Melbourne Cup run ballot wise and second up for the preparation, looks a big player in the race.

Target Race

Melbourne Cup


Red Galileo

Trainer: Saeed Bin Suroor

Red Galileo found a new level last start in the Ebor handicap behind Mustajeer when running a bold second. Red Galileo beat home some nice types in Raymond Tusk, True Self, Prince of Arran and Raheen House on that occasion. Importantly, his best runs have been over longer distances on firmer tracks. A horse on the up!

Target Race

Melbourne Cup and Caulfield Cup


Red Verdon

Trainer: Ed Dunlop

Red Verdon beat Gold Mount over 2800m at York two runs back before failing to figure in the Ebor Handicap last start. Ratings wise, he hasn’t ever produced a run strong enough to suggest a Melbourne Cup win and I’d expect the horse to back up and be more competitive in something like a Sandown Cup.

Target Race

Melbourne Cup


Royal Meeting

Trainer: Saeed bin Suroor

Royal Meeting won a Group 1 at just his second start at Chantilly in France before suffering an injury setback which has kept him off the track until now. The horse he defeated that day, Hermosa, went onto win two Group 1 races in the next two starts to frank the form.

Target Race

Cantala Mile or Mackinnon Stakes


Setting Sail

Trainer: Charlie Appleby

Booked his ticket on the flight to Australia in late August with a dominant 4.5 length victory in Stakes grade at Epsom Downs returning a 115 Timeform Rating. Likely 2000m type but will need to improve onwards again, like his last two starts, to figure in a feature race in Melbourne. This stable have a history of making horses do just that.

Target Race

Mackinnon Stakes


Southern France

Trainer: Maher and Eustace

Leaving the Aidan O’Brien yard to join the Maher and Eustace stable, Southern France comes to Australia as a main player for the 2019 Melbourne Cup. This preparation saw Southern France run the best stayer in the world, Stradivarius, to less than a length at York in the Group 2 Yorkshire Cup over 2800m, before his form tapered off slightly managing just fourth in the Curragh Cup and Goodwood Cup.

He then won well in the Irish St Leger Trial Stakes over 2800m before a respectable third in the Irish St Leger beating home Cross Counter, Master of Reality and Latrobe.

Target Race

Melbourne Cup


Suzuka Devious

Trainer: Mitsuru Hashida

A winner on a Good track (not firm which is important) over in Japan first up this preparation over the 1800m, he doesn’t seem to be able to stay injury free with many poor runs on the record. He seems to either finish right in the finish or stone cold out the back in his career, and you just never know which is going to occur on the day. Best seen over 1800-2000m.

Target Race

Mackinnon Stakes


Ten Sovereigns

Trainer: Aidan O’Brien

A fast ground specialist, he recorded a 126+ Timeform Rating winning the Darley July Cup at Newmarket beating next start Group 1 winner Advertise by 2.5 lengths. Ten Sovereigns consistently puts solid numbers on the board but has only once gone to that elite level that would win The Everest. Does have the potential to win it all this Spring. On speed type.

Target Race

The Everest (Odds Below) and VRC Sprint Classic


True Self

Trainer: Willie Mullins

An OTI Racing Import, True Self ran a very solid sixth in the Ebor Handicap. Previously, he has won twice in Listed grade on softer tracks and placed third at Haydock in a Group 3 over 2400m. He handles Good tracks just fine and will stay the distance.

Ran a 116+ Timeform Rating in the fast run Ebor last start and prior to that had recorded a 110+ Timeform rating. Needs to improve again to win a feature race in Australia.

Target Race

Melbourne Cup and Caulfield Cup


Twilight Payment

Trainer: Joseph O’Brien

A strong staying type best seen at 2400 metres and beyond. Twilight Payment beat home Latrobe in the Group 2 Curragh Cup over 2800m in June with Southern France and Mustajeer finishing fourth and fifth on that day.

Returned to the track first up in September after 79 days off with a disappointing seventh in the Irish St Leger, it’s hard to know if the real Twilight Payment has made the trip out to Australia.

Target Race

Melbourne Cup


Walton Street

Trainer: Charlie Appleby

Hasn’t won a race since February 2018 when scoring in handicap company over in Dubai. Walton Street was beaten 0.1 lengths last start in the Group 3 Prix De Reux at Deauville in a strong return to form. Comes out to Australia with a last start Timeform Rating of 115. Lacks that killer instinct to put away a race when it counts.

Hasn’t won a race since February 2018 when scoring in handicap company over in Dubai. Walton Street was beaten 0.1 lengths last start in the Group 3 Prix De Reux at Deauville in a strong return to form. Comes out to Australia with a last start Timeform Rating of 115. Lacks that killer instinct to put away a race when it counts.


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