Internationals out on force at Geelong

3 min read

There will be keen interest in the performance on Wednesday of Withhold (GB) (Champs Elysees {GB}) when he attempts to win a spot in the G1 Melbourne Cup.

The Roger Charlton-trained 5-year-old will make his Australian debut in the G3 bet365 Geelong Cup and attempt to follow the leads of fellow internationals Media Puzzle (USA) (Theatrical {IRE}), Americain (USA) (Dynaformer {USA}) and Dunaden (FR) (Nicobar {GB}) who previously won both Cups.

To be ridden by Kerrin McEvoy, Withhold has yet to run in black type company but he has fashioned an excellent staying record in England.

He has won four of his 11 starts and his depths of stamina can’t be questioned having been successful three times at 3200 metres and beyond.

Northumberland success

Withhold clinched his trip Down Under with a last-start victory against a 20-strong field in the Northumberland Plate H., off an eight-month break.

His dam Coming Back (GB) (Fantastic Light {USA}) won over 2000 metres and she has a 100 per cent winning strike rate with her five foals to race.

Withhold winning at Newcastle Racecourse, UK

She is from the family of the G1 English Derby winner Commander In Chief (GB) (Dancing Brave {USA}), the former champion European 2 and 3-year-old colt Warning (GB) (Known Fact {USA}) and the G1 Prix Jean-Luc Lagardere winner Full Mast (USA) (Mizzen Mast {USA}).

Chris Waller also has a pair of internationals, Finche (GB) (Frankel {GB}) and Casterton (IRE) (Fastnet Rock), making their first Australian appearances.

Group victory

The former has won three of his seven starts and at his most recent appearance in August he triumphed over 2500 metres in the G3 Prix de Reux. Casterton is similarly lightly-tried with three wins from 13 starts and last time out he finished sixth in the Listed Prix Kergolay.

Waller’s other contender is One Foot In The Grave (IRE) (Fastnet Rock), who was runner-up in the St Leger S., at Randwick earlier this month.

Darren Weir will field five runners with perhaps Yogi (NZ) (Raise The Flag {GB}) his best hope following a solid performance to finish third in the G3 The Bart Cummings at Flemington.

Derby trial

The Listed Roderick Insurance Brokers Geelong Classic will provide what looks to be an open line-up with chances to further their G1 VRC Derby prospects. Tony McEvoy has the first two in the book with Farooq (Frankel {GB}) and Just Rolling (Sebring) involved.

Luke Currie has been aboard both colts in recent starts and he will partner Just Rolling, who was a last-start second at Moonee Valley.

Louise The Legend (Masterprint) has been genuine this season for Trent Busuttin and Natalie Young and following his fourth placing in the Listed UCI S., a step up in distance looks ideal for him.

Some value might be to have around the Danny O’Brien-trained Grizinger Star (NZ) (Reliable Man {GB}). He has improved with each outing broke his maiden over the Geelong Classic trip of 2200 metres when last seen at Ballarat earlier this month.