Melbourne Cup contender Illustrious Blue has settled in well to his new surroundings at the Werribee International Horse Centre, and is working along nicely in his bid to win Australia’s richest race on the first Tuesday in November.
With 11 West Australians involved in the part ownership of Illustrious Blue, local interest is high in this particular Melbourne Cup bid.
Belhus Racing Stables’ Syndicate Manager Peter Morley said today that everything so far has gone to plan with the English stallion’s Australian trip and everyone connected with the horse are confident of a good showing in the Cup.
“He’s bright, healthy, very fit, and will have a good hitout at Werribee on Saturday morning. His English groom that knows the horse well says that no horse will strip fitter than him on Melbourne Cup day”
Trained by William Knight (pictured with Illustrious Blue), the stunning looking stallion has won twice in England this year over the Melbourne Cup distance, taking out the Group 3 Sagaro Stakes at Ascot in April, and the Group 2 Goodwood Cup in July. Just prior to his win at Goodwood, he ran second in the Coral Marathon (3,290m) at Sandown finishing a length and a half in front of Manighar (fourth in last Saturday’s Caulfield Cup) and giving him five pounds.
“Obviously it’s a pretty exciting time for us all” said Morley. “Realistically it’s a once in a lifetime opportunity for most of us to be going to Flemington with a genuine chance of winning a Melbourne Cup. We need to win it. The wife’s spent a fortune on two new outfits-handbags, hats, shoes, the lot, but I’m just going to wear my old lucky suit”…