International recruitment for spring continues
03 Aug 2012 | With Black Caviar and Hay List on the sidelines this Spring Racing Carnival, Racing Victoria’s (RV) International Recruitment Officer, Leigh Jordon, has upped his pursuit of international sprinters to contest the Group 1 Sportingbet Manikato Stakes and Group 1 Patinack Farm Classic in October/November.
Two feature races abroad this weekend, the Group 2 King George Stakes (1000m) at Goodwood (UK) tonight and the Group 1 Prix Maurice de Gheest (1300m) at Deauville (France) on Sunday, could well influence his chances of success.
Moonlight Cloud, the French horse that went within a whisker of denying Black Caviar an historic victory in the Diamond Jubilee Stakes at Royal Ascot, will be chasing back-to-back victories in the Maurice de Gheest.
Star Aussie mare Ortensia, who is embarking on an extended UK campaign, headlines the field for the King George Stakes. Amongst her rivals is the Jane Chapple-Hyam trained Secret Asset who has been earmarked as a possible Melbourne visitor.
Following is a snapshot of the key international races across the weekend with Jordon’s comments on who to watch from a Spring Carnival perspective;
• Goodwood (UK) – G3 Coutts Glorious Stakes (2400m) – Broadcast live on SKY 2 & SKY Racing World at 11pm (AET) tonight
Leigh Jordon’s Comment: All eyes on Aussie-owned pair Gatewood and Quest For Peace who are both earmarked for Melbourne this Spring. Gatewood, who has won four of his six starts, needs a win to pass the ballot for the Melbourne Cup and get his rating up. Godolphin’s Songcraft is another emerging talent and he could be among their Cup entries if he performs well here.
• Goodwood (UK) – G2 Gordon’s King George Stakes (1000m) – Broadcast live on SKY 2 & SKY Racing World at 12.45am (AET) tonight
Leigh Jordon’s Comment: Obviously plenty of Aussie interest in Ortensia who was a great run in the July Cup given the very heavy conditions. Secret Asset is the horse I’ll be watching most closely. His connections have expressed a desire to come to Melbourne, but he needs to win a race like this to warrant the trip. Ortensia should prove a good measuring stick for us all.
• Deauville (FRA) – G1 Prix Maurice de Gheest (1300m) – Broadcast live on SKY 2 & SKY Racing World at 11.40pm (AET) Sunday night
Leigh Jordon’s Comment: The horses that finished second and third behind Black Caviar in the Diamond Jubilee Stakes, Moonlight Cloud and Restidargent, reunite in this race with the former chasing a second win in the Group 1 feature. UK visitor Strong Suit, who is owned in the same interests as Dunaden, is the other one I’ll be watching closely. In peak form, he’s a definite sprinter-miler target for the spring.
• Cork (IRE) – G3 Give Thanks Stakes (2400m) – Broadcast live on SKY 2 & SKY Racing World at 1.35am (AET) Monday morning
Leigh Jordon’s Comment: The field is yet to be finalised, but of the entries the Dermot Weld pair Sapphire and Sense Of Purpose create the most interest for me. Sense Of Purpose was nominated for the Melbourne Cup last year, whilst Sapphire is only lightly raced, but shows plenty of talent.