Miss Finland To Target Melbourne Cup

Miss Finland To Target Melbourne Cup
Photo: Mark Gatt
Miss Finland is expected to contest the Cox Plate on October 27th.
Miss Finland (Redoute's Choice-Forest Pearl by Woodman) will contest the Aus$3.5 million Cox Plate over 10 furlongs at Moonee Valley racecourse in Melbourne Oct. 27. If she comes through that as expected -- with a win -- her part-owner, John Messara (who also owns the powerful Arrowfield Stud in the NSW Hunter Valley) will likely announce she is headed to the United States to compete.

She is by far and away the best female to race in Australia since Makybe Diva and the multiple group I winner, who is currently favorite to win the WFA Cox Plate, also has the group I Melbourne Cup on her horizon. Messara won’t confirm his mare as a Melbourne Cup contender, despite her trainer’s desire to take on the two-mile handicap after the Cox Plate, but he did say at a function in Sydney Oct. 10 that he likes the idea of a visit to the U.S. And he has a history of doing this, as he did take Alinghi to the States to compete a few years back. (Alinghi picked up a grade II race.)

Miss Finland's trainer, David Hayes, said, "The plan all along was to run her in the Melbourne Cup and there's been nothing that has changed my mind this spring. I really don't think there has been a better Melbourne Cup trial this spring than her run in the Underwood Stakes two weeks ago. It was a run of Makybe Diva proportions."

Hayes also believes this is one of the weakest Melbourne Cups for 50 years following the outbreak of equine influenza.

However, Messara, who is the most powerful man in Thoroughbreds in Australia, stood by his words: “If she runs as well as we hope in the Cox Plate and she comes out of that very well, then the Melbourne Cup is a possibility. But what we really want to do with her is take her to the U.S. and test her against some of the world’s best mares.”

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