Weld harbouring hopes of another Melbourne Cup

Dermot Weld appears keen to mark the 30th anniversary of Vintage Crop’s famous Melbourne Cup success with a runner in the Flemington showpiece after Harbour Wind appeared among the nominations for this year’s race.

Weld became the first European-based trainer to win the prestigious race – and did it again for good measure with Media Puzzle in 2002.

Since then Alain de Royer-Dupre, Mikel Delzangles, Andreas Wohler, Joseph O’Brien twice and Charlie Appleby have all won the ‘race that stops a nation’ and Harbour Wind is one of 15 international entries out of 132 this year.

The Moyglare-owned Harbour Wind would need to rise significantly in the weights to stand a chance of getting a run but the Listed winner will get the chance to improve his rating this weekend at Leopardstown.

Racing Victoria’s general manager Paul Bloodworth told www.racing.com: “I think Dermot is really keen to have a horse running in the 30th anniversary of him winning the Melbourne Cup with Vintage Crop.

“We went and saw Dermot in Ireland in late July and he actually had a filly that he was interested in bringing in Shamida, who had just won a Group Three race in Ireland.

“He has changed plans for that horse, but he also showed us Harbour Wind and he said ‘Look, he hasn’t done anything yet, but I really like him and he’s going to the Vinnie Roe and we’ll see how we go from there’.”

Bloodworth went on: “He won the Vinnie Roe very impressively, but he probably needs to get his rating up a little higher. He might be a little too low to be confident of securing a start.

“He (Weld) contacted us after he Vinnie Roe and said ‘Where are we?’. We’ve had to wait until the horse got re-rated and he’s still a bit lower than what he needs to be. A win on the weekend would do that and even a placing would probably do it.”

As expected the Willie Mullins-trained duo of Vauban and Ebor winner Absurde, William Haggas’ Desert Hero, owned by the King and Queen, were entered along with last year’s winner Gold Trip, one of 17 entries for Ciaran Maher and David Eustace.

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