Giavellotto enters Melbourne Cup equation

Marco Botti has expressed his pride in Giavellotto’s brave run in defeat at York, with connections now mulling over a possible tilt at the Melbourne Cup later in the year.

The Yorkshire Cup champion was returning to the scene of his finest hour when lining-up in the Lonsdale Cup and lost little in defeat as he fought out the finish with the Ascot Gold Cup first and second, Courage Mon Ami and Coltrane.

It was Andrew Balding’s consistent performer who came out on top on the Knavesmire, with Botti’s four-year-old giving way to the stronger stayers late in the day as he finished two lengths adrift in third.

However, the Newmarket-based handler was far from despondent as his long distance star showed his qualities once again.

Botti said: “It was a good run and he was beaten by two proper stayers who finished first and second in the Gold Cup. They are the best stayers around and maybe they just outstayed him.

“I always thought one-mile-six would be Giavellotto’s optimum trip. He gets the two miles but when he runs against the proper stayers, maybe the final furlong gets a bit hard work.

“It was no disgrace to finish third behind two proper stayers and he is a horse who has been consistent and tries his best all the time. For sure he handles York quite well.”

Giavellotto holds entries in the Comer Group International Irish St Leger (Curragh, September 10) and the Qipco British Champions Long Distance Cup at Ascot on British Champions Day (October 21).

However, Botti is hoping to get the go-ahead from owner Francesca Franchini of Scuderia La Tesa Limited to travel to Australia for the ‘race that stops a nation’ at Flemington on November 7.

“He’s a horse who wouldn’t want the ground too soft. He is in the Irish St Leger, but we thought by then you don’t know what the ground will be,” explained Botti.

“We are still discussing about the Melbourne Cup and I’m pretty sure we will enter him and then finalise the plans. Otherwise in England it will just be Champions Day as the only goal left for him.”

He went on: “I would be in favour (of going for the Melbourne Cup). The fact he went to Dubai and is a horse who travels well and I also think the track will suit him – it is similar to York, a left-handed track.

“I think he will get in. He won a Group Two so he should make the cut for the Melbourne Cup, but then it is up to the owners as it is quite an expensive trip to take on and as we know the rules are quite strict before the race. The vetting can be tricky but he is a sound horse.

“If we take that route, hopefully all goes to plan, and I would be in favour if the owner wanted to go.”

If a trip to the Southern Hemisphere doesn’t come to fruition, Botti hopes to explore other options overseas for Giavellotto during his five-year-old campaign as he envisages his stable star improving further with experience.

“He’s a nice horse to still have in the yard and we have been able to win a Group Two this year,” he added.

“He’s a nice horse to have and maybe campaign abroad next year, whether that be Dubai or Saudi Arabia. We’re not planning too far ahead but he’s definitely a horse who has scope to get even better.”

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