Dor to Melbourne Cup opens
AUSTRALIAN Bloodstock's Luke Murrell was still trying to come to terms with the purchase of one of Europe's top stayers, Torcedor, for the Melbourne Cup.
"We believe he's one of the best-credentialed horses available for this year's Melbourne Cup, so we're thrilled to have got him," Murrell said on Monday.
"We wanted to buy a horse which could win the Melbourne Cup, not just run in it, and it's been a struggle.
"To be brutally honest, there was only a handful of horses you could get to win a Melbourne Cup and now we've got one of them."
Australian Bloodstock won the 2014 Melbourne Cup with German stayer Protectionist.
Since Australian Bloodstock's purchase was confirmed, Torcedor has firmed from $26 to $16 for the Melbourne Cup with Ladbrokes.
Murrell said Australian Bloodstock agents made an inquiry to Torcedor's owner Te Akau Racing a month ago and secured him late last week.
"As far as ability goes in terms of horses we've bought, he's got more exposed form than anyone we've bought before,'' he said.
"He's rated in the top three stayers in Europe."
Trained in Ireland by Jessica Harrington, Torcedor ran third to Stradivarius in the 4000m Gold Cup at Royal Ascot in June and second to that horse in the 3200m Goodwood Cup last month.
Australian Bloodstock has transferred the dual Group 3 winner to German trainer Andreas Wohler, who prepared Protectionist.
Torcedor, a six-year-old gelding by Fastnet Rock, has won six of his 19 starts.
"Andreas is over the moon,'' Murrell said.
"He said the horse had arrived at his stables on the weekend. It took 30 hours to get from Ireland to Germany and he can't believe how well he handled it.''
Murrell said the plan was for Torcedor to tackle the Melbourne Cup at his first Australian start but he might have another run in Europe.
Torcedor is a free-going galloper who makes his own luck out in front. Australian Bloodstock also has Cup hopes for Big Duke, Red Cardinal and Ormito.