The Victoria Racing Club of Melbourne, Australia received its first taste of international flavor Oct. 4 when the initial batch of overseas feature-race entrants arrived at Melbourne International Airport.Japanese-trained gallopers Delta Blues and Pop Rock touched down on the tarmac along with English Spring entries Wunderwood, Geordieland and Land `N Stars.The quintet was then transported by road to the Sandown quarantine facility, where they will be prepared for their assault on the BMW Caulfield Cup (Aus-I) and Emirates Melbourne Cup (Aus-I).Racing Victoria Limited's Director of Racing Operations Leigh Jordon said the arrival of these international horses highlight the diversity of runners targeting Melbourne's premier races."The Emirates Melbourne Cup is increasingly becoming a global event that has the ability to attract the involvement of the world's top horses, trainers and jockeys."I am extremely pleased that the Japanese have returned with two more contenders after Eye Popper's blistering second place in last year's Caulfield Cup, which was the first start by a horse from that country in one of Australia's Spring feature races."Delta Blues, Pop Rock, Wunderwood and Land `N Stars are entered for both the BMW Caulfield Cup and Emirates Melbourne Cup, while the Melbourne Cup, which is Nov. 6, is the sole aim of Geordieland.
The Emirates Melbourne Cup is the world's richest handicap race at $5.5 million run each year for the past 145 years at Flemington Racecourse at a distance of two miles.