The Charlie Appleby-trained Oceanographer and Qewy will be out boost their respective Melbourne Cup hopes when each bids to become the latest international winner of the Geelong Cup.
The 2400m-race has been won by five internationally trained horses since the turn of the century starting with Media Puzzle in 2002 followed by Bauer (2008), Americain (2010), Dunaden (2011) and Gatewood (2012).
Media Puzzle, Americain and Dunaden all went on to win the Melbourne Cup.
English trainer Appleby has both Qewy and Oceanographer making their Australian debuts in Wednesday’s Group Three Cup after stablemate Scottish defeated all bar Jameka in Saturday’s $3 million Caulfield Cup.
Scottish was the Godolphin trainer’s first Australian starter and one of five stable horses sent to Melbourne for spring carnival races.
Fellow international Grey Lion, who has joined Matt Cumani’s stable in Victoria, also makes his Australian debut at Geelong and is the $3.50 favourite ahead of Oceanographer at $3.80.
Kinema, now trained by Chris Waller, has his first southern hemisphere start and holds the third line of betting at $4.60.
Grey Lion, Oceanographer and Qewy are the only Geelong Cup runners still in contention for the Melbourne Cup.
“Oceanographer has done as well as any in our team since arriving and has continued to thrive,” Appleby said.
“He is less exposed than Qewy, but he has great staying potential and is on the upgrade.
“Qewy is a grand, old campaigner who ran extraordinarily well at Royal Ascot and Goodwood at his last two (starts).
“He should be staying on well. I expect them both to be very competitive.”
Seven-year-old Qewy has won three of his 22 starts and at his most recent start ran second in the Summer Stakes at Goodwood over 2816m in July with James McDonald aboard.
Five-year-old Oceanographer has only had nine starts and was seventh in the Ebor Handicap at York in August.
Grey Lion’s trainer Cumani, son of prominent UK-based trainer Luca Cumani who won the Geelong Cup with Bauer, will be chasing his biggest win since he began his own training career earlier this year at Ballarat in country Victoria.
Grey Lion impressed in a recent track gallop at the Werribee quarantine centre when he led out and held subsequent Caulfield Cup third placegetter Exospheric.
Grey Lion is 30th in the latest Melbourne Cup ballot order while Oceanographer and Qewy have not yet passed the first ballot clause.