Wednesday, February 28, 2024

Vauban Set for Shot at Melbourne Cup

Irish-based horse Vauban is a horse who is renowned for having success in some of the biggest races on the National Hunt calendar, particularly at the Cheltenham Festival. However, he now looks set to feature in one of the most famous Flat races in the world, the Melbourne Cup.

The former Triumph Hurdle winner has been victorious twice on the Flat this summer. His first success came at Royal Ascot where he landed the Copper Horse Handicap by an emphatic seven lengths. He then booked his ticket for the Melbourne Cup with victory in the Group Three Ballyroan Stakes at Leopardstown.

Three-Time Grade One Winner Tops Melbourne Cup Betting

Willie Mullins’ gelding is the 5/1 favourite in the horse race odds for the race Flemington in November. He has entries in the Lonsdale Cup at York and Irish St Leger at the Curragh before the travels to Australia for the race.

As the horse racing results show, stamina is unlikely to be a problem for the son of Galiway as he has won over 2m1f over hurdles. He also has some experience on the Flat in France before switching to Mullins’ yard in Ireland.

With a rating of 114 on the Flat now, he is likely to have one of the highest weight allocations in the Melbourne Cup, but that is unlikely to put his connections off as the race has been the plan for quite some time now.

Irish and UK Horses Have a Good Recent Record

Since its inauguration in 1861, Australian-based horses have dominated the Melbourne Cup, however, over the last few years that has changed. Three of the last six winners have been horses from Ireland or the UK.

Irish trainer Joseph O’Brien won the race with Rekindling in 2017. The son of Aidan O’Brien was also victorious in the prestigious two-mile contest in 2020 with Twilight Payment, joining a small club of trainers who have been triumphant in the race more than once.

In 2018, Godolphin trainer Charlie Appleby was successful in the race with Cross Counter. He became the first British-based trained horse to win the Australian contest. It was also the owners’ opening triumph in a race they had been trying to land for over 30 years.

Lunar Flare Heads Home Team This Year

The Grahame Begg-trained mare Lunar Flare is expected to be one of the leading Australian horses in this year’s race. The experienced eight-year-old won the Grade Three The Lexus Bart Cummings at Flemington last season.

Successful Australian-based trainer Chris Waller won the Melbourne Cup in 2021 with Verry Elleegant, and he has a great chance of another success in 2023 with Francesco Guardi. The five-year-old won the Group Two McCafe Moonee Valley Gold Cup on his latest appearance. He was also second behind Lunar Flare at Flemington earlier in the campaign.

The 2023 Melbourne Cup takes place on the 7th of November. A sell-out crowd is expected to descend on the racecourse in Victoria, while millions will watch on television around the world.