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Update on Melbourne internationals – Japanese unlikely, Ebor winner Moyenne Corniche a strong chance

August 25, 2011

I love this time of year – especially speculation about the internationals.

While many may dismiss it as petty and a time-waster, for me it adds to the spring.

Which internationals will come out? How will their form stack up? Will they travel well? Will they even consider Australia against the plethora of other options?

This is why I love August from a spring carnival perspective.

Yesterday, I wrote an article about likely visitors, both for the Melbourne Cup and for other races. I encourage you to read this article before going on, as it will place the next few paragraphs in context. Click here to read yesterday’s article.

To show how the spring picture is ever changing, two new developments have emerged overnight.

Unfortunately, it is looking increasingly unlikely that the Japanese will be back.

While it was hinted last week that Meiner Kitz and Beat Black would run for Japan, Racing Victoria’s Paul Bloodworth said overnight that they are not confident they will make the trip.

The other development centres around the Ebor winner, Moyenne Corniche.

All press leading up to yesterday had suggested he would not come out for the Melbourne Cup, instead saved for next year.

However, owner Dan Gilbert has told The Guardian that he wants to use the prizemoney cheque from the Ebor to come out this year – with the gelding likely to undertake an audacious plan.

The trainer and owners are planning an assault on the Group 3 Lexus Stakes (2500m) on Derby Day – just three days before the Melbourne Cup – with the intention to back him up if he qualifies for the Melbourne Cup.

While it remains to be seen whether this will occur, it adds to the intrigue surrounding Melbourne Cup nominations next Thursday (September 1).

I love this time of year.

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