The Melbourne Cup quest of trainers Gai Waterhouse and Adrian Bott can officially begin after finalising a deal with Coolmore to secure international contender Sir Lucan.
Sir Lucan, the brother of last year’s Cox Plate winner Sir Dragonet, emerged as a surprise late entry for the Cup last week, pending the necessary veterinary checks needed to complete the transaction.
A Listed winner in Ireland for trainer Aidan O’Brien, Sir Lucan will tackle the Group 2 Great Voltigeur Stakes at York on Wednesday (AEST), before a shot at the Group 1 St Leger at Doncaster on September 11.
“The path we’re on at present is to target the St Leger and then come over,” Bott said.
“But in horse racing things evolve.”
Sir Lucan is $26 in TAB‘s all in Melbourne Cup market.
Waterhouse famously won the 2013 Melbourne Cup with another former international galloper in Fiorente.
The legendary trainer and Order of Australia Medal recipient, who formed a partnership with Bott in 2016, has not saddled up a Cup starter since 2018.
Sir Lucan, a lightly-raced son of Camelot set for the second shipment of international arrivals on October 12, looks set to end the Waterhouse-Bott drought.
Connections have until September 20 to complete the contentious pre-travel scintigraphy and MRI/CT imaging of distal limbs (lower legs).
👏 Unbelievable ride @ctkjockey
A second victory from five rides for the Classic winning jockey for team @Ballydoyle as Sir Lucan (Camelot), a brother to Sir Dragonet, sheds the maiden tag at the third time of asking at @corkracecourse
Results ➡ https://t.co/sBcsavHpYfpic.twitter.com/jjp9tX7obd
Sir Lucan is one of 17 internationals nominated for the Cup, including Lloyd and Nick Williams-owned equal $15 second favourites Dawn Patrol and defending champion Twilight Payment.
Australian-bred Incentivise remains the firm $11 TAB favourite.
“There was talk it might be a bit quieter (internationals entries) early days,” Bott said.
“It’s a race that people still really want to win and with the levels of prizemoney on offer people aren’t going to give up on it that easily.”
Sir Lucan‘s pedigree through star Coolmore stallion Camelot and Sir Dragonet’s success in Australia the past 10 months was the catalyst for Waterhouse and Bott to source the progressive three-year-old colt.
“Every little bit of risk you can take out, or any factors you can put in your favour, we look for,” Bott said.
“It’s definitely comforting having that pedigree behind you, knowing he’s by a stallion that’s been hugely successful here but also a very close relation to a horse that has done very well.
“(Sir Lucan) looks to be continuing to improve, has run some very high-rated races … proven he can stay.
“Ultimately, we thought they were figures that would see him develop into an ideal Melbourne Cup prospect, particularly this year.”
Originally published asYes, Sir: Waterhouse-Bott close deal for Cup contender
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