Euro raiders eye Aussie run
Mukhadram, Magician and Trading Leather feature among a record number of international entries received for this year's Caulfield Cup and Sportingbet Cox Plate, two of the highlights of Victoria's Spring Carnival.
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The 12-furlong Caulfield Cup, to be run at Caulfield on October 18 , has received 44 entries from overseas while the 10-furlong Cox Plate, at Moonee Valley on October 25, has 29 foreign entries.
The William Haggas-trained Mukhadram, winner of the Eclipse, is nominated for the Cox Plate along with the likes of Aidan O'Brien's Breeders' Cup winner Magician and Roger Varian's John Smith's Cup winner Farraaj.
O'Brien also has Adelaide, Venue De Milo and Table Rock amongst the entries along with Ger Lyons' Brendan Brackan, the Charlie Hills-trained pair of Forgotten Hero and Just The Judge and Richard Hannon's Goodwood winner Pether's Moon.
Side Glance won the Group One Mackinnon Stakes for Andrew Balding in Australia last November and he is also entered for the race as is Sennockian Star, who was a winner at Goodwood for Mark Johnston.
Trading Leather, trained by Jim Bolger for Godolphin, is another eyecatching contender.
Varian has entered Ambivalent for the Caulfield Cup, a race which could also feature Sir Michael Stoute's Hillstar and Godolphin's Goodwood Cup winner Cavalryman.
Brown Panther is also in the mix for that event as is Jeremy Noseda's international campaigner Grandeur, Ed Dunlop's Red Cadeaux, Balding's Van Percy and O'Brien's Irish Derby second Kingfisher.
A handful of runners, including Mukhadram, Venus De Milo and Pether's Moon are entered in both events.
Leigh Jordon, Racing Victoria's international recruitment officer, said: "Both the quantity and quality of international entries received for the Caulfield Cup and Cox Plate is a mark of the respect and interest that the Spring Racing Carnival and our premier racing now commands on the world stage.
"It's a vote of confidence to have training greats like Sir Michael Stoute, Aidan O'Brien and Saeed bin Suroor lodge entries and equally as important to have the next wave of UK trainers like Roger Varian, Marco Botti and Andrew Balding show genuine interest in our premier races."
No internationally-trained horse has won the Cox Plate, while Taufan's Melody (1998), All The Good (2008) and Dunaden (2012) are the three international winners of Caulfield Cup.