A flight containing the spring raiders from the northern hemisphere has touched down safely at Melbourne’s Tullamarine Airport.
Included on the flight, which arrived on Friday night, was dual Melbourne Cup placegetter Prince Of Arran whose trainer Charlie Fellowes also announced star jockey Jamie Kah would ride him this spring.
“Delighted to announce that Jamie Kah has been booked to ride Prince Of Arran in both the Caulfield Cup and the Melbourne Cup,” Fellowes said in a tweet.
“An extremely talented jockey who has had a wonderful year. Her riding style will suit Arran perfectly.”
Of the 29 horses on the flight, 16 are here solely for the spring and 13 will stay.
The 29 gallopers all completed a mandatory two-week quarantine period at facilities in the United Kingdom and Ireland.
They will spend the next fortnight at the International Horse Centre at Werribee under further quarantine and will be able to run on Caulfield Cup Day on October 17.
Paul Bloodworth, Racing Victoria’s General Manager – International and Racing Operations, is rapt with the calibre of the overseas raiders.
“It’s very pleasing to see such a high quality group of horses arrive here in Melbourne to contest some of Australia’s greatest races,” Bloodworth said.
“Despite the additional challenges that 2020 has presented, the show of support from some of the world’s leading stables once again proves what tremendous value they place on Victoria’s spring racing carnival, and the high esteem in which it is held across the globe.”
Runners from the stables of Irishmen Aidan and Joseph O’Brien make up the bulk of the travelling party with the top trainers having 10 horses between them.
Aidan O’Brien has six, headed by 2019 English Derby winner Anthony Van Dyck and well-credentialed northern hemisphere four-year-olds Santiago and Tiger Moth.
He will also have Armory and Magic Wand aimed at the Cox Plate.
His son Joseph O’Brien has brought out four horses including the pair who ran in last year’s Melbourne Cup, Master Of Reality and Twilight Payment, who finished fourth and eleventh respectively.
Roger Charlton has brought out recent Group Two York Stakes winner Aspetar for the Cox Plate.
The set of internationally-trained raiders is completed by the German-trained, Australian-owned Ashrun, Andrew Balding’s Dashing Willoughby and two from the Irish stable of Willie Mullins in True Self and Stratum Albion.