Racing: Son out to stump Aussies

NOW HERE'S an interesting reversal of stereotypes. When Taufan's Melody, trained in Sussex by Lady Herries, won the Caulfield Cup, one of Australia's biggest races, a couple of weeks ago, all manner of antipodean trainers and jockeys lined up to cry "foul". Shane Dye, one of the continent's best riders, complained that foreign horses were simply better than those trained locally, and should not be allowed to run in Australia's top events. Should Taufan's Melody, Faithful Son, or indeed any of three other British- trained candidates for the race, win the Melbourne Cup itself next Tuesday, the moan machine will probably overheat. And you thought that it was the Poms who were supposed to be whingers.

Even if the British trail in a minute behind the winner at Flemington Park in four days time, the indignation and fear which their very presence in the field has generated will have made the trip worthwhile. A British victory, though, would hurt the hosts every bit as much as defeat in the Ashes series which starts the same month, and if the latest odds are any guide, success for the tourists this winter is more likely to be on four legs than two.

Taufan's Melody was a 66-1 chance for the Caulfield Cup, but he is now among the favourites for the Melbourne Cup, the race for which all of Australia grinds to a halt. The clear market leader, though, is Faithful Son, runner-up in the Eclipse Stakes at Sandown in July and an eye-catching fourth behind Taufan's Melody at Caulfield, when he had no luck in running. In theory, of course, he hails from Dubai, the home base of the Godolphin operation, but this is a technicality which will not trouble punters either in Britain or Australia. The British challenge will be completed by Sheer Danzig (trained by Robert Armstrong), Persian Punch (David Elsworth) and, possibly and somewhat controversially, Paul Cole's Yorkshire.

The doubt over whether Yorkshire will make it to the starting stalls next week is nothing to do with an injury, but instead a result of the tortuous process by which the final line-up for the Melbourne Cup is determined. Only 24 horses can run, and Yorkshire is currently number 25 in the list of qualifiers. He could be even lower than that, though, after several other would-be runners have run in trials this weekend.

Cole, apparently, was not informed of the problem until Yorkshire had already touched down in Australia. Since the cost of sending a racehorse to the other side of the world makes business class on Concorde look like an EasyJet to Ibiza, he was not best pleased.

Strangely enough, a similar problem faced Lady Herries shortly before the Caulfield Cup, when it transpired that Taufan's Melody's career earnings were just short of the total required to qualify for the race. The Victoria Racing Club, the local turf authority, simply exercised its power to allow Taufan's Melody to compete at the expense of a locally-trained runner. The decision was controversial at the time, and all the more so when Lady Herries' runner scraped home in front.

As a result, the VRC will be reluctant to bend the rules a second time to allow Yorkshire into the Melbourne Cup, and Cole's long trip south may have been in vain. Like the rest of the overseas runners, though, he must still exercise each morning, and yesterday he enjoyed a quiet canter at Sandown racecourse along with Taufan's Melody, Persian Punch and Sheer Danzig. Faithful Son, meanwhile, worked at Caulfield.

The final field of 24 runners will be announced at 6pm, local time, tomorrow, which is 7am on this side of the world. Saeed bin Suroor, Britain's champion trainer-elect, arrived in Melbourne yesterday to supervise the final preparation of both Faithful Son and Annus Mirabilis, who will run in the Mackinnon Stakes at the track on Saturday. Success in that race would take Annus Mirabilis's earnings past a million pounds.

It is the Melbourne Cup which everyone wants, though, and even Bart Cummings, the Australian trainer who has saddled the winner 10 times, yesterday joined the clamour for restrictions on the number of foreign-trained runners. It could be that there will be a simple way to tell if any of the British runners has emerged victorious in the small hours of Tuesday morning. Simply open your bedroom window at about 3.40am, and listen for the sound of whingeing Australians.

Melbourne Cup (Flemington, Tuesday) Coral: 4-1 Faithful Son (from 5-1), 8-1 Tie The Knot, 10-1 Taufan's Melody, Aerosmith, 12-1 Doriemus, 14-1 Our Unicorn, Darazari, Jezabeel 16-1 Persian Punch, Sheer Danzig, Yippio, 20-1 others.

William Hill: 7-2 Faithful Son (from 5-1), 8-1 Tie The Knot, 10-1 Aerosmith, Doriemus, Taufan's Melody (from 8-1), 14-1 Darazari, Jezabeel, Our Unicorn, Persian Punch, Sheer Danzig, 16-1 Perpetual Check, 20-1 others.

Suggested Topics
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Joel Edgerton, John Turturro and Christian Bale in Exodus: Gods and Kings
film Ridley Scott reveals truth behind casting decisions of Exodus
News
Andy Murray with his girlfriend of nine years, Kim Sears who he has got engaged to
peopleWimbledon champion announces engagement to girlfriend Kim Sears
Arts and Entertainment
Jake Quickenden and Edwina Currie are joining the I'm A Celebrity...Get Me Out Of Here! camp
tv
Arts and Entertainment
Roisin, James and Sanjay in the boardroom
tvReview: This week's failing project manager had to go
Life and Style
Fright night: the board game dates back to at least 1890
life
Life and Style
fashion
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Argyll Scott International: Senior Business Analyst- Insurance

Negotiable: Argyll Scott International: Senior Business Analyst - Insurance ...

Recruitment Genius: Property Manager

£25000 - £29000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This independent, growing Sales...

Recruitment Genius: Graphic Designer

£16000 - £20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Multi-skilled graphic designer ...

Austen Lloyd: Court of Protection Solicitor

£30000 - £50000 per annum + EXCELLENT: Austen Lloyd: Court of Protection Solic...

Day In a Page

Cameron, Miliband and Clegg join forces for Homeless Veterans campaign

Cameron, Miliband and Clegg join forces for Homeless Veterans campaign

It's in all our interests to look after servicemen and women who fall on hard times, say party leaders
Millionaire Sol Campbell wades into wealthy backlash against Labour's mansion tax

Sol Campbell cries foul at Labour's mansion tax

The former England defender joins Myleene Klass, Griff Rhys Jones and Melvyn Bragg in criticising proposals
Nicolas Sarkozy returns: The ex-President is preparing to fight for the leadership of France's main opposition party – but will he win big enough?

Sarkozy returns

The ex-President is preparing to fight for the leadership of France's main opposition party – but will he win big enough?
Is the criticism of Ed Miliband a coded form of anti-Semitism?

Is the criticism of Miliband anti-Semitic?

Attacks on the Labour leader have coalesced around a sense that he is different, weird, a man apart. But is the criticism more sinister?
Ouija boards are the must-have gift this Christmas, fuelled by a schlock horror film

Ouija boards are the must-have festive gift

Simon Usborne explores the appeal - and mysteries - of a century-old parlour game
There's a Good Girl exhibition: How female creatives are changing the way women are portrayed in advertising

In pictures: There's a Good Girl exhibition

The new exhibition reveals how female creatives are changing the way women are portrayed in advertising
UK firm Biscuiteers is giving cookies a makeover - from advent calendars to doll's houses

UK firm Biscuiteers is giving cookies a makeover

It worked with cupcakes, doughnuts and macarons so no wonder someone decided to revamp the humble biscuit
Can SkySaga capture the Minecraft magic?

Can SkySaga capture the Minecraft magic?

It's no surprise that the building game born in Sweden in 2009 and now played by millions, has imitators keen to construct their own mega money-spinner
The King's School is way ahead of the pack when it comes to using the latest classroom technology

Staying connected: The King's School

The school in Cambridgeshire is ahead of the pack when it comes to using the latest classroom technology. Richard Garner discovers how teachers and pupils stay connected
Christmas 2014: 23 best women's perfumes

Festively fragrant: the best women's perfumes

Give a loved one a luxe fragrance this year or treat yourself to a sensual pick-me-up
Arsenal vs Borussia Dortmund: Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain celebrates century with trademark display of speed and intuition

Arsenal vs Borussia Dortmund

The Ox celebrates century with trademark display of speed and intuition
Billy Joe Saunders vs Chris Eubank Jnr: When two worlds collide

When two worlds collide

Traveller Billy Joe Saunders did not have a pampered public-school upbringing - unlike Saturday’s opponent Chris Eubank Jnr
Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: Drifting and forgotten - turning lives around for ex-soldiers

Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: Turning lives around for ex-soldiers

Our partner charities help veterans on the brink – and get them back on their feet
Putin’s far-right ambition: Think-tank reveals how Russian President is wooing – and funding – populist parties across Europe to gain influence in the EU

Putin’s far-right ambition

Think-tank reveals how Russian President is wooing – and funding – populist parties across Europe to gain influence in the EU
Tove Jansson's Moominland: What was the inspiration for Finland's most famous family?

Escape to Moominland

What was the inspiration for Finland's most famous family?