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Local Cups Horses In Danger of Obsolescence
Ahead of the eagerly anticipated release on Tuesday of the handicaps for two of the major features of the 2019 Spring Carnival, the Melbourne and Caulfield Cups, racing.com has reflected upon the increasing dearth of Australian-bred horses in the principal Melbourne features. Of the four Australian-bred horses rated under $101 with BetEasy to win the Melbourne Cup, only two could get enough weight from the handicapper to make a challenge to get into the race – Angel Of Truth (Animal Kingdom-Scarletini, by Bernadini) winner of the ATC Derby, and Mr Quickie (Shamus Award-Special Favour, by General Nediym) Queensland Derby victor. Compare this to ten years ago when Shocking won the race - 17 of the field of 24 were bred in Australasia. The Caulfield Cup is in the same boat; only 3 of the field of 18 in last year's race were bred here - none of which featured in the first six home - compared with 14 of the 18 runners in 2009. The 'internationals' covet both the prize money and prestige associated with Australian feature racing, but perhaps it is time to somehow reinstate the 'Australian' element of competition in such races, as good as we know it can be.