Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Follow Caitano for Cup Success

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Follow Caitano for Cup Success

Article excerpt

Byline: COLIN FLEETWOOD JONES

OUR three-pronged attack on the Melbourne Cup at Flemington tomorrow gives this country possibly its best ever chance of wresting the prize from the locals - a task not unlike trying to remove a beer can from the grip of a thirsty Aussie sheepshearer.

And, although I wouldn't put anyone off backing any of the British-trained trio - the gallant Persian Punch, Marienbard and Give The Slip - I'm afraid that my money, a good dollop each-way, has gone on a German challenger, Caitano, whose price of 40-1 appears a trifle generous.

Late jockey changes have clinched the selection.

Top Californian rider Kent Desormeaux decided not to leave the US and this led to the ride on Caitano being offered to French ace Olivier Peslier until a passport hitch prevented him travelling.

Now the much-travelled horse will be partnered by Johnny Murtagh, an even bigger plus considering the Irishman's recent record in major races.

Murtagh's mount should certainly not be a longshot on his past record.

He was fifth to Sagamix in the 1998 Prix de L'Arc de Triomphe and the following season added Group Two race wins in his home country to his tally.

He has won in Turkey and finished third in the Hong Kong Vase but the icing on the cake was a second to subsequent Breeders' Cup Turf hero Fantastic Light at Nad Al Sheba last year, when conceding 2lb to the winner.

The seven-year-old is trained by Andreas Schutz, 33, whose links with England include a spell at Nicky Henderson's Lambourn stables and two successes as a rider in the Moet and Chandon Amateurs' Derby at Epsom.

His father, Bruno Schutz, sent out more than 2,200 winners as a trainer, including four German Derbies.

Schutz jnr, who took over from his father in 1998, trains, American style, on Cologne racecourse with a string of around 150 horses and a vision of increasing his country's status in the international arena of racing.

The young handler, who sports a Kojak hairstyle, said: "We are more adventurous now, and accordingly are prepared to pitch in against the best around in the world, whereas in the old days German trainers were generally content with what they had on offer at home. …

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