Sun, Nov 2, 5:26pm by Daryl Curnow
The global empire are fierce rivals with Coolmore, who already scored the Group One Cox Plate at Moonee Valley earlier this carnival, and adding the Melbourne Cup trophy to their cabinet would sit nicely for the boys in blue.
“It is a great race, we’ve tried for years and years but we hope this time we have the best chance,” said Godolphin trainer Saeed Bin Suroor.
The signature all-blue colours have come awfully close to winning in the past, most notably Give the Slip who, as a distinct long-shot, led the field for the length of the straight before being gunned down by New Zealand-trained Ethereal.
Godolphin has finished second on two other occasions; Central Park in 1999 and Crime Scene finished runner up in 2009. This year however, Godolphin will line up Cavalryman – $26 at BetEasy.com.au – who isn’t a newcomer to the big race this Tuesday. He raced in 2012 where he managed only 12th in the 24-horse field but Bin Suroor believes he is a changed horse and could threaten the favourite’s.
“You know he’s a professional now,” he said. “This horse always runs well when he’s fresh.
“I think with his age also, being an eight-year-old, he’s done pretty well.
“He’s doing really well and the two miles will be no problem for him.”
Stablemate Willing Foe – $26 at TomWaterhouse.com – is the fresh horse on the scene, having had only 15 starts for five wins and five placings. The lightly tried seven-year-old has required patience from his connections but he has the class factor about him.
“You have to be very patient with him and so far he’s done really well. I’m really happy with him,” he said.
“Everything so far so good with him. He’s finished fourth in the Irish St. Leger and I like the breed a lot.”
If jockey decisions are anything to go by, Sydney’s best jockey, James McDonald, was originally booked to ride Cavalryman but switched to Willing Foe after fellow international jockey James Doyle was suspended at Royal Ascot.
Big-race rider Craig Williams was more than happy to accept the ride in Cavalryman but the bookmakers can’t split the two – offering $26 a piece.
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