The Michael Owen-owned Brown Panther has made the final 72 for the upcoming Melbourne Cup, keeping the former footballer’s hopes of having a horse in one of the world’s richest races firmly alive.
The five-year-old was impressive when romping home to the Goodwood Cup at the start of August over the same distance.
His defeat at the same track last time can be forgiven, coming over the shortest distance he has raced at since 2010. Connections opted for the 1m2f contest after illness ruled him out of his intended target, the Irish St Leger, and his display was not a true reflections of his talents, eventually fading into fifth after leading from the front.
Despite the result trainer Tom Dascombe remained upbeat: “I’m pleased with that. Grandeur is a good horse in his own right and we had to give him 5lb. In hindsight, we’ve probably gone off too fast and not got home and I’m sure he’ll be fine and we’ll go to Melbourne.”
Back at two miles, he certainly has an excellent chance and with proven form over the distance, is certain to outstay plenty in the field.
And the trends certainly bode well for the bay, with 46 five-year-olds being crowned the victor, more than any other age.
Connections will be hoping for good ground however, as when he last raced on soft at Longchamp, he finished eighth of nine last October. Under the Australian sun, it is unlikely there will be too much cut in the ground.
Richard Kingscote is likely to be on board again and if he can keep him there or there abouts this impressive specimen should garner some serious each-way attention at 16/1.
Heading the betting at 6/1 is Puissance De Lune who was second to Happy Trails over the course last weekend and has two victories around Flemington over 12 and 13 furlongs.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.
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