English trainer Ed Dunlop has indicated to Racing Victoria that he wants to bring his tough stayer Red Verdon back to Melbourne for the spring carnival.
RV’s international recruiter Paul Bloodworth said Dunlop had been back in touch with him to say he was interested in coming over.
“He had cold feet but he’s got more interested. At this stage he’s a little behind the eight ball as he doesn’t have a travel exemption but we will get onto that,” Bloodworth said.
Red Verdon has visited Melbourne twice contesting the past two Caulfield Cups, finishing eleventh and eighth respectively, but he was injured each time before the Melbourne Cup.
The eight-year-old has struck form with wins at Doncaster and then in the Prix Maurice de Nieuil at Longchamp.
He finished fourth on a heavy track behind Telecaster in the Grand Prix de Deauville on Sunday.
Bloodworth is also in discussions with another English trainer, Roger Charlton, regarding the well-credentialed Aspeter running in the Cox Plate and will talk to him early this week.
Charlton told British media on the weekend he wants to come if it can be organised.
Aspeter is a Group One winner in Germany.
Bloodworth is expecting Aidan O’Brien to take to the last moment to decide the make-up of his team to come to Australia.
“Every year they give me a list of around ten horses. Then the day before quarantine they decide on whose coming,” Bloodworth said.
“They like to wait until the weekend of the Irish St Leger and English St Leger on the 12th and 13th of September.”
Bloodworth suggested O’Brien could bring one or two older horses out for the Cox Plate, and a three-year-old and an older horse for the Melbourne Cup.
“Aidan has an embarrassment of riches,” Bloodworth said.
“He’s entered horses of the quality of Japan and Anthony Van Dyck. I’d be confident that a horse like Magic Wand could come out.”
Bloodworth said a plane has been booked with up to 16 horses on a one-way ticket and another 16 on a return ticket to come to Australia on October 2.
Among the other international raiders likely to make the trip are last year’s Melbourne Cup runner-up Prince Of Arran, fourth placed Master Of Reality and Group Three Queen Elizabeth Stakes winner True Self.