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Who are the leading European Challengers for the 2017 Melbourne Cup?
From Brian Ashfield: September 2017

European-trained runners have a fantastic record in the Melbourne Cup over the last ten years, as more horses from the continent are now making the trip for the world's richest 3200m contest at Flemington Park. With this in mind, here is a look at who are going to be the leading contenders from Europe in the 2017 running of the contest.

Red Cardinal

German trainer Andreas Wohler won the Melbourne Cup in 2014 with Protectionist, who was successful at odds of $7 under the hands of the former British Champion Jockey Ryan Moore. Wohler is expected to have an excellent chance of winning 'the race that stops a nation' once again with Red Cardinal, who has a similar profile to the 2014 champion.

Credit: RTR Bloodstock New via Twitter

Red Cardinal is $16 in the Melbourne Cup 2017 betting, where you can pick up a free bet on the race with all of the leading Australian bookmakers if you open a new account. The German horse has had two Group wins in 2017 in Germany. Back in May, he was successful in a Group Two contest at Hoppegarten over 3200m, while just weeks later he travelled to the USA and landed the Belmont Gold Cup where he got the better of the Sir Mark Prescott-trained St Michel by a neck.

This is set to be Red Cardinal's first trip to Australia and only his second shot at a Group One contest. In his last run at the highest level, he came home second at Cologne in the Preis Von Europa.

St Michel

British trainer Sir Mark Prescott enjoys running his horses in the Melbourne Cup and always looks to have one runner each year. His leading contender in 2017 looks to be with St Michel, who has had a consistent campaign in the UK this season. The four-year-old was second behind Red Cardinal in his trip to Belmont Park back in June and he then finished third in a Group Two contest at York on his return to the UK.

St Michel is the son of the former Derby and Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe winner Sea The Stars, who never ran further than 2400m; however, Prescott's stayer has won on three occasions over the Melbourne Cup trip so he has proven the distance is within his reach.

Thomas Hobson

Seven-year-old Thomas Hobson has won five of his ten races on the flat; he's also a Royal Ascot winner as he landed the Ascot Stakes, which is run over 4000m, earlier this season. The national hunt-bred horse is trained in Ireland by Willie Mullins and owned by Rich Ricci, who is used to having lots of success at the Cheltenham Festival.

Given his victory at Royal Ascot, stamina is something which won't be in doubt for this Irish horse as he stays much further than the Melbourne Cup trip. Thomas Hobson ended last season's national hunt campaign with victory in a Grade A contest at Fairyhouse during their Irish Grand National meeting. The busy bay gelding has run in many of the leading long distance flat races in the UK this year, including the Lonsdale Cup at the Ebor Festival at York, where he could only finish seventh.

This year's Melbourne Cup takes place on November 7 where the latest betting is headed by Admire Deus, who has just recently switched from Japan to Australia in preparation for the race.



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