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Irish chase Melbourne Cup berth at Geelong

MELBOURNE Oct 22 2019

Connections of Irish mare True Self hope she can advance her way up the Melbourne Cup order of entry by winning the Geelong Cup.

True Self missed a start in Saturday's Caulfield Cup (2400m) when third emergency with Wednesday's race over the same distance the ideal back-up.

The Willie Mullins-trained mare is one of four internationally trained runners in the Geelong Cup, joining Prince Of Arran, Red Galileo and Haky, and aiming to become the seventh overseas winner since 2002.

Media Puzzle started that run followed by Bauer (2008), Americain (2010), Dunaden (2011), Gatewood (2012) and Qewy (2016).

Media Puzzle, Americain and Dunaden all went on to win the Melbourne Cup.

Dave Casey, travelling foreman for Mullins, said True Self, stabled at Werribee since completing quarantine, had undergone a trouble-free preparation.

Casey said it was unfortunate True Self did not make the final Caulfield Cup field.

"We felt the horse was up to winning it and would get in it, but there were a few who had a last minute change of mind," Casey said.

"I think she's in good form. She's settled in to a nice rhythm. She's taken it all in since she's been here and done everything we've asked of her.

"I think it will be a tough race but she's there to take part and hopefully she'll be competitive."

True Self started her racing career over jumps before transferring to the flat.

Casey said he could never have imagined her as a potential Geelong Cup winner when she started racing.

The Melbourne Cup (3200m) at Flemington on November 5 is the plan with the weight-for-age Mackinnon Stakes (2000m) on November 9 the back-up.

"Life throws up curve balls and different scenarios and she's progressed a nice amount on the flat," Casey said.

"So we'll see where we are at after Wednesday.

"If she doesn't get in (Melbourne Cup) we may look at the option of the Mackinnon Stakes the following Saturday."

Wednesday's 11 acceptors are all trying to advance their place in the Melbourne Cup order of entry.

Last year's Melbourne Cup third placegetter Prince Of Arran heads Wednesday's market at $3.40 ahead of Steel Prince at $4.80 with True Self next at $5.



Craig Brennan - AAP

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