Prominent racing identity Terry Henderson says he expects an extremely high-quality Geelong Cup next week with OTI Racing set to have up to three runners in the race.
Melbourne Cup contenders Steel Prince, Red Galileo, Yucatan, Prince of Arran and True Self are all expected to feature in Wednesday’s Geelong Cup nominations.
Henderson will be sweating on a Caulfield Cup run for third emergency True Self this Saturday, but a start is highly unlikely.
Prince of Arran is fourth emergency, also leaving connections needing to find an alternative to get him into the Melbourne Cup.
OTI Racing’s Grey Lion is certain return for a third crack at a Geelong Cup crown after struggling in the wet in the Group 1 The Metrop (2400m) at Randwick last start.
The eight-year-old veteran finished second behind Qewy in his Australian debut in the Geelong Cup in 2016 and ran fourth in 2017 behind Vengeur Masque in 2017.
Grey Lion didn’t feature during the 2018 spring carnival, but has returned in good form in 2019 under the care of trainer Matthew Smith in Sydney.
The veteran ran well behind Melbourne Cup contender Finche in the Group 3 Kingston Town Stakes (2000m) two starts ago at Randwick.
He then struggled in the wet at Group 1 level when finishing almost nine lengths behind Come Play With Me.
“He doesn’t like that really wet ground. It just wasn’t his race at all,” Henderson said.
“But his previous run before that was good, while his first run (in August) was terrible.
“He is coming down here and we like the way he is progressing.
“But it’s going to be a really strong field, because you might even have a horse like Prince of Arran. My gut feeling is it will be (a strong Geelong Cup).”
Connections favour the Caulfield Cup over the Geelong Cup for seven-year-old mare True Self, who is trained by Ireland’s Willie Mullins, as they look to sneak her into the Melbourne Cup field.
Henderson said six-year-old import Haky, trained by John Hammond in France, was also a chance to line up in the Geelong Cup after an average first-up performance in the Herbert Power.
The genuine stayer finished 11.5 lengths off winner The Chosen One at Caulfield with Henderson disappointed in the ride.
“They just went too slowly. This horse is a stayer, he is the type of horse that could run in the Geelong Cup and be 10 lengths in front with 600m to go.”
Article: Geelong Advertiser.