Japan poised to claim big three of the Melbourne spring
Which international runners can make an impact during the Melbourne Spring Carnival?
Cross Counter looks likely to make his way out for a second Melbourne Cup
The Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival is upon us which means the international arrivals are about to hit our shores.
The Japanese raiders look to be the pick of the gallopers coming down under with the big three races of Melbourne's spring looking ripe for the picking.
Mer De Glace - Caulfield Cup
This Japanese galloper was last seen winning the Group Three Kokura Kinen in early August by over a length. This was over a trip of 2000m which he has proven to be so dynamic over.
That win made it five in a row and three stakes races in succession. Australian hoop Damian Lane rode the five-year-old stallion in two of these graded wins while he had his successful stint in Japan.
The stallion has untapped potential, leading Lane to convince the owners to target the Caulfield and Melbourne Cups this Australian spring.
Goodluck to anyone who has jumped on him at the opening quote of $26 as this looks a steal seeing as is is a certainty to land in Australia.
Lys Gracieux - Cox Plate
Lys Gracieux is likely to make the plane trip here after the quarantine issues were sorted. She is a mare with a powerful finish and the Cox Plate looks perfect.
Damien Lane again rode this mare to win the Group One Takarazuka over 2200m. She beat Kiseki that day who is one of Japan's better middle distance and staying type horses.
The Moonee Valley committee extended an invitation to the connections after this win for an all expenses paid trip to Melbourne to run in the best two minutes in sport.
Connections have recently accepted the offer and will be making their way over shortly as her market price continues to drop from $26 to $9.
Cross Counter - Melbourne Cup
Last year's Melbourne Cup winner looks set for another tilt at Australia's most prestigious race after some encouraging runs back in Europe behind the world's best stayer Stradivarius.
After winning the Cup Cross COunter went to Dubai in March to claim the Dubai Gold Cup beating stable mate Ispolini who is also likely to make his way over.
He will not have the light weight as he did last year and he is an older horse, but he should not get in with too much, which again makes him a live chance to take out this year event.
Seeing as the Melbourne Cup was the target straight after winning it last year, it looks like it could be another perfectly timed run for the Charlie Appleby-trained gelding.