Strong international spring racing carnival entries

International representation is expected for the Caulfield Cup and Cox Plate after the closing of nominations for the two Group 1 races.

A total of 175 horses, 24 from overseas, were entered for the Caulfield Cup when nominations close on Tuesday while there was 178, 17 internationally, entered for the Cox Plate.

In 2022, 169/32 were entered in the Caulfield Cup and 135/12 for the Cox Plate while in 2021 it was 170/9 and 153/4 respectively for both races.

Caulfield Cup: View the full list of Caulfield Cup nominations

Cox Plate: View the full list of Cox Plate nominations

Hong Kong superstar Romantic Warrior is the headline act for the Cox Plate (2040m) at Moonee Valley on October 28 with trainer Danny Shum already declaring the Group 1 Turnbull Stakes (2000m) at Flemington three weeks earlier is on the agenda.

Charlotte Mills, Head of Racing at Moonee Valley, said the international nomination list was a marked improvement from what it had been more recently, with Irish trainers Aidan and Joseph O’Brien, both previous winners of the Cox Plate, nominating horses.

One of the world’s top 10 horses, Paddington from the Aidan O’Brien yard, is entered.

“We certainly have seen the increase in nominations from last year is notable and it is good to see that five of those that ran in last year’s Cox Plate are nominated again,” Mills said.

James Cummings, who won the race last year with Anamoe, only has one nomination this year, Pericles, while leading trainer Chris Waller has the highest number of domestic trainers with 27 entries.

“Overall, we’re really happy with the international flavour and the quality of the Australian nominations that are in there as well,” Mills said.

Jake Norton, Melbourne Racing Club Executive Director – Racing & Operations, said the 175 entries received was about as well as the Club had done in recent years, but which had translated to no northern hemisphere-trained participation in the race.

“We’re very optimistic to have had 24 northern hemisphere-trained horses entered for this year’s Cup and obviously there is a fair amount of water to cross before now and when they have to go into quarantine in five weeks’ time,” Norton said.

“But it’s great to see nominations from Japan in Breakup and Win Mighty.

“We haven’t seen Japanese participation for a number of years now, but their record at The Heath speaks for itself, a couple of winners and a very high strike-rate.”

Norton said nine of the runners from last year’s Cup had been nominated this year, while the Ciaron Maher and David Eustace-trained Right You Are, who won the Listed Mornington Cup (2400m) in April to gain a ballot exemption is among the 175 entries.

Paul Bloodworth, Racing Victoria’s General Manager International and Racing Operations, believes trainers in Europe are now coming to terms with the strict veterinary protocols in place to compete at the Melbourne Spring Carnival.

“You can gauge that through Simon and Ed Crisford, James Ferguson and Joseph O’Brien, who have all been here before, and have put horses up to go through the process again,” Bloodworth said.

“On a recent trip to Europe, I would say it is still very a much a topic of conversation amongst European trainers (the protocols), but I think there is more acceptance now of what they are.

“The removal of scintigraphy, or the bone scan, has been seen as a positive, but whether or not the numbers translate to runners, will have to be seen.”

Entries for the Group 1 Melbourne Cup (3200m) at Flemington on November 7 close on September 5.

About RS NewsWire

Racing and Sports is a global publisher of online horse racing form and information, and a leader in interactive racing technology. Racing and Sports is at the cutting-edge of information technology, allowing businesses and website users first access to emerging technologies.

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