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Record international entries for Melbourne Cup

Fifty internationally-trained entries help make up a record 183 nominations for this year's G1 Melbourne Cup in November.

With prizemoney for the world's richest handicap increasing to $7.3 million, the total of 183 nominations is 40 more than at the same stage last year and higher than any previous year since nominations were moved to late August in 2011.

The 50 internationally prepared nominations is also a record on the 25th anniversary of when Vintage Crop became the first overseas trained horse to win the 3200m race.

Legendary Irish trainer Aidan O'Brien has 12 horses nominated for the Melbourne Cup, while his son Joseph, who won the race last year with Rekindling (High Chaparral {IRE}), has three entries, but not last year's winner, who will miss the spring.

Joseph O'Brien, winning trainer of the 2017 Melbourne Cup has three entries in this years race

John Gosden has nominated the two horses who ran one-two in the Ebor H. last weekend, Muntahaa (Ire) (Dansili {GB}) and Weekender (GB) (Frankel {GB}). Owner Lloyd Williams had 16 runners in total while Australia's leading trainers Darren Weir and Chris Waller have 28 and 21 respectively.

The G1 Caulfield Cup, now worth $5 million, received 164 nominations.

Seabrook resumes on Rose path

The G1 Golden Rose is still on the agenda for Group 1-winning filly Seabrook (Hinchinbrook {AUS}) depending on her performance in Saturday's G3 McNeil S. at Caulfield.

Seabrook, who won the G1 Champagne S. at Randwick in April, has had two soft trials heading into Saturday, but trainer Mick Price is confident she is ready to shine first-up.

"She's flying. She had a soft trial at Cranbourne and then another trial where she went very well. She's looking for a race, she's going great," Price told RSN.

Price said a win or a strong performance on Saturday would convince him to have a shot at the early Group 1 riches in offer in Sydney, in particular the Golden Rose at Rosehill on September 22.

He is convinced she's good enough to win a G1 Thousand Guineas, which is on October 13, but hasn’t ruled out a shot at the G1 Caulfield Guineas against the colts and geldings on the same day.

Seabrook was an $85,000 yearling at the 2017 Inglis Premier Sale

Breakthrough win for international duo

It’s rare that a Japanese-born jockey rides a winner for a Ukrainian-born trainer at an Australian meeting, but the combination of Yoko Ota and Tetyana Furdetska did just that in a 2400m maiden at Moe on Tuesday.

Ruzaton's (Zariz {Aus}) win was Furdetska's first as a trainer with her 12th runner, having made her debut as a raceday trainer earlier this year.

Furdetska arrived from the Ukraine around 12 years ago and with limited English was able to secure a job working at the Mt Macedon stables of six-time Melbourne Cup winning owner Lloyd Williams.

Rubirest, the dam of Ruzaton, was purchased for just $500 when she was in foal to Zariz in 2013 and Furdetska is listed as the sole owner.

Ota only usually has a handful of rides a month and has ridden just three winners in 2018. She was initially based in Queensland but now lives in Victoria and has ridden everywhere from Gayndah to King Island in the past 20 years.

Cox Plate hope on target

Scott Base (NZ) (Dalghar {FR}) will open his spring campaign in Saturday’s G1 Tarzino Trophy and co-trainer Johno Benner is hoping it’s the first positive step toward Australasia’s weight-for-age championship final.

Scott Base was sold at the 2016 NZB Select Sale for $70,000

The four-year-old holds a nomination for the G1 Cox Plate and satisfactory progress through the Hawke’s Bay Triple Crown series will see him at Moonee Valley.

“It’s not all about Saturday, there’s two more after that and then a possible trip to Australia,” Benner said. “I think 2000 metres, or should I say 2040 metres, is as far as he wants to go.

Watch: Scott Base parading as a yearling

“But in saying that, he’s pretty potent at the shorter trips. I thought a couple of weeks ago we were a bit behind the eight ball with him, but he’s really come on.

“I’m not scared of anything in the Tarzino and wouldn’t swap him. He’s a lovely animal, he’s big and powerful and in great order.”

Scott Base, who won the G2 Wellington Guineas and the Listed Karaka Million 3YYO Classic, will be joined in the Hawke’s Bay feature by stablemate and Group 1 performer Wyndspelle (NZ) (Iffraaj {GB}).

“He’s definitely a 1600 to 2000 metre horse and he needs a dry track,” Benner said. “He’s quite forward and as long as he’s charging at the line then we’ll be happy.”

Filly confirmed for Sydney

Progressive filly Santa Catarina (NZ) (Savabeel) has booked her passage to Sydney.

Trainer Stephen Marsh said the 3-year-old would depart on September 10 and make her Australian debut in the G2 Tea Rose S., at Randwick five days later. Her future programme will be confirmed after her opening run.

Bred and raced by Lib Petagna, Santa Catarina won two of her three starts last season, including the Listed Waikato Equine Veterinary Centre S. She recently resumed at Taupo where she finished runner-up on a Slow 9 track.

“It was a good run, she just blew out the last bit and she was caught in the ground,” Marsh said.