5th November 2022
Frankel (GB)/Ribbons (GB)
UK import Soulcombe could be Melbourne Cup bound after his stylish Australian debut at Flemington.
Article – Justhorseracing
Chris Waller and the large team of owners of import Soulcombe hope to be back at Flemington in 12 months’ time for a shot at the Melbourne Cup.
Soulcombe, a former member of the William Haggas team in the UK, scored an impressive Australian debut taking out the Group 3 Queen’s Cup (2600m) on Saturday.
TAB has installed Soulcombe and White Marlin as $15 co-favourites for next year’s Melbourne Cup 2023.
With Craig Williams in the saddle and settling towards the back of the field, Soulcombe, the $3 favourite, raced to a 2-¼ length win from Luncies ($5.50) with Captain Obvious ($17) a neck away third.
Waller has not ruled out giving Soulcombe another start this campaign but is wary of what it might mean for later preparations.
He said this spring would eat into the autumn which in turn would eat into next spring.
“It’s all about seeing how he recovers today,” Waller said.
“Most importantly he knows how to win at Flemington.”
“It was a great experience (for the horse) and that’s what it’s all about with horses especially, when you’re coming from a different hemisphere.
“It is a different style of racing, but there’s no better place than Flemington, the bigger tracks, and that will give the horse a lot of confidence.”
Soulcombe had been trained for Saturday’s race from the quarantine centre at Werribee and Waller did not change the training pattern of the gelding.
He also instructed Williams to keep it simple.
“We didn’t change anything from his UK form,” Waller said.
“Rode him as he would have been ridden him back there and it was good to see him traveling nicely.
“Good to see him coming into the race at the top of the straight and he really was explosive (over) the last 200 metres.”
A three-year-old in European terms, Williams has no doubt Soulcombe will develop into a high-class stayer once he learns to adapt to a different style of racing in Australia.
“He’s so raw and untapped,” Williams said.
“Credit to Chris Waller and his team of owners. They’ll develop a tough seasoned horse for next year.”