Verema can be Queen of Melbourne
British and Irish horses ruled the waves in American and Australian waters last weekend but it could be time for the French to take their slice of glory through Verema in Tuesday's Emirates Melbourne Cup.
- Related Content
In such a competitive 24-runner race, it is necessary to file down the field by picking out weaknesses and Alain de Royer-Dupre's filly appears to have very few of them.
Already proven to be an able stayer with a touch of speed and class, Verema can boast a victory in the Prix Kergorlay, the Deauville event which has proved the vital formline for the other two recent Gallic winners, Americain and Dunaden.
The cautious Royer-Dupre said last week he rated Verema the equal of his 2010 hero Americain, and the decision to bring an already valuable breeding prospect to the other side of the world will not have been one he and owner the Aga Khan will have taken lightly.
Lightly-weighted and with a successful Flemington pilot, Christophe Lemaire, she looks worth following ahead of the mass of British challengers.
Perhaps Godolphin's Royal Empire can be the best of that contingent, as the son of Teofilo impressed over a mile and five in the Geoffrey Freer at Newbury and had valid excuses for finishing second in his other outings under a penalty on the all-weather at Kempton and soft ground at Ascot.
Robert Hickmott is the licenced trainer for six of the runners, but reclusive owner Lloyd Williams very much calls the shots for the Macedon Lodge stable.
Last year's winner Green Moon is one of those for the dark blue silks but Seville, the 2011 Irish Derby runner-up for Aidan O'Brien, stayed on nicely over an inadequate 10 furlongs in the Cox Plate and can land a place for the home side.
The Spring Carnival runs for several more days this week and Thursday's feature is the Crown Oaks, where many of the fillies involved were in action only last Saturday in the Wakeful Stakes.
Gypsy Diamond caught the eye staying on into fifth and looked as if she would appreciate the extra couple of furlongs.
And there can be further success for Britain in Saturday's Queen Elizabeth Stakes.
Nicky Henderson will be occupied with his jumpers but the classy Forgotten Voice can gain compensation for missing a chance to make the Melbourne Cup on his favoured quick ground.