This year’s Melbourne Cup will have at least two runners representing Federation of Bloodstock Agents Australia (FBAA) following the lead-up wins of Ventura Storm (Ire) and Runaway.
Ventura Storm (Astute Bloodstock) claimed the G2 Moonee Valley Gold Cup (2500m) on Saturday and bookmakers reacted by firming his pre-post quote from $101 into $26 ahead of next Tuesday.
Runaway (Blue Sky Bloodstock) won the G3 Geelong Cup (2500m) last Wednesday and almost certainly secured a start in the Melbourne Cup after receiving a 1.5kg penalty.
Astute Bloodstock’s Louis Le Metayer purchased Ventura Storm privately for a syndicate that includes Lindsay Park’s David Hayes, Scott Perrin, Rupert Legh, Robert Hill-Smith & John Valmorbida.
“It is great when a plan comes off and he’s in the zone at the moment,” Hayes said. “He had done well since the Caulfield Cup and was ready to turn it around. They crawled at Caulfield and he came from second-last on the fence to run the second-best sectional.
“We’ve had terrific results buying European horses with Astute Bloodstock and this horse will give us a great thrill in the Melbourne Cup.”
Ventura Storm (Zoffany) was trained by Richard Hannon to win the G1 Italian Derby and G3 Prix de Reux at Deauville. He was also runner-up in the G1 English St Leger just prior to the offer from Le Metayer.
Julian Blaxland’s Blue Sky Bloodstock is poised for a career-high carnival at Flemington with Sunlight and Runaway.
Sunlight (Zoustar) is expected to back-up in the G1 Coolmore Stud Stakes this Saturday after a luckless seventh in the G1 Manikato Stakes at Moonee Valley. The Tony McEvoy trained filly will take on the colts and should have ample room down the straight, unlike Friday night when she never saw daylight.
Blaxland bought Sunlight for $300,000 at the 2017 Gold Coast Magic Millions on behalf of an Aquis Farm syndicate and she has earned $2.39 million with the prospect of another $1 million scalp in the Coolmore.
Runaway (Manhattan Rain) was a $150,000 Blue Sky graduate for Gai Waterhouse Racing at the 2016 Inglis Easter yearling sale and he first came to attention winning the LR Victorian St Leger in April.
“Runaway bolts in the Geelong Cup,” Blaxland tweeted. “Bred by Rosemont Stud who retained a leg. Superb-rated ride by Stephen Baster and with typical Tulloch Lodge polish.”
Federation of Bloodstock Agents Australia (FBAA) was formed in 1988 to maintain, improve and develop the standards, status and services of bloodstock agents throughout Australia. Its members operate with the utmost integrity and professionalism and are bound by the strict Industry Code of Conduct.