Whanganui part-owned New Zealand Derby winner Crown Prosecutor flew out yesterday on a hit and run mission targeting the $A5 million Group One Caulfield Cup on Saturday week.
Fifty per cent owned by retired Whanganui businessman Harvey Green and his wife Linda, the Stephen Marsh-trained galloper earned a crack at the Caulfield Cup with a barnstorming late run to finish third behind Kiwi glamour mare Melody Belle in last weekend's Gr1 Livamol Classic at Hastings.
Green said Crown Prosecutor was 21 in the order of entry for the 2400-metre race on October 19, so needed three defections to make the final field to be announced next week.
The four-year-old son of Medaglia D'Oro bullocked his way into the limelight last season when he won the coveted Gr1 $1 million Vodafone New Zealand Derby (2400m) at Ellerslie at odds of over 100-1 in the hands of Graig Grylls.
Three weeks later he ran an ordinary 9th in the Gr1 Rosehill Guineas (2000m) in Sydney before returning home to spell.
"He was on his way down in that campaign, but if he gets a start in the Caulfield Cup it will be just his fourth start up this time in," Green said.
"His fast-finishing third to Melody Belle in the Livamol (2040m) gave us the confidence to have a crack at the Caulfield. He is 21 in the order of entry with a week to go, so we are hoping there is some natural attrition to allow him in. He will carry 52kg if he starts."
There are only two imported, northern hemisphere-trained horses in the field at the moment.
"He flies out today and will be stabled at Trent Busuttin and Natalie Young's Melbourne base and they are firing at the moment, so we're hoping some of their luck rubs off. Our back up plans if he doesn't make the Caulfield Cup include either the Gr3 $A300,000 Geelong Cup (2400m) on Wednesday, October 23 or the Gr3 $A300,000 Bendigo Cup (2400m) a week later on October 30.
"The Geelong Cup has an automatic Melbourne Cup entry for the winner, but we wouldn't do both - we'll leave the Melbourne Cup up to Bill Thurlow (Waverley trainer) and Glory Days. We are not even paid up for the Melbourne Cup this year, but this trip may well set Crown Prosecutor up for a tilt next season," Green said.
Graig Grylls has accepted the offer of riding Crown Prosecutor in the Caulfield Cup.
"We chose Craig because he knows the horse and he has international experience with his successful time in Singapore," Green said.