Confident of Panfield’s ability to overcome the testing two miles of the 2021 G1 Melbourne Cup (3200m), trainer Tony Millard is remaining upbeat about his star stayer’s chances of competing abroad in Australia’s most famous race later this year on Tuesday, 2 November at Flemington Racecourse.
“We’re just doing our due diligence at the moment – it’s very exciting and we’ve been inundated with things from Australia,” Millard said. “He’s progressive and I don’t think there will be a problem with the distance, his female line suggests that he shouldn’t have a problem with that.”
A son of Lookin At Lucky, Panfield claimed Chile’s 2019 Triple Crown with consecutive G1 triumphs and burst onto the scene in Hong Kong with a strong third placing in the BMW Hong Kong Derby (2000m) before his tenacious victory in May’s G1 Standard Chartered Champions & Chater Cup (2400m).
“He’s just started his preparation, we have put him back in work now and we’ll see how we go but I think we’re going to make a call pretty soon either way in the next week or so if we are going to proceed – it’d be great if we could, it’d be nice to have a tilt at the Melbourne Cup,” Millard said.
Well versed in travelling horses, Millard has campaigned overseas a total of 10 times from Hong Kong with seven different horses; his best result, a fine win in the 2016 KOR G1 Korea Sprint (1200m, sand) with Super Jockey in South Korea, who also placed second in the 2015 G1 Dubai Golden Shaheen (1200m, dirt) in the United Arab Emirates.
He also crusaded bonny mare Sweet Sanette to finish a brave third in the 2011 G1 King’s Stand Stakes (1000m) at Royal Ascot behind Prohibit and Star Witness, respectively.
“I think that everything is going to hinge on the opposition at this stage, the regulations are quite steep that we now have to go through in order to get a horse to Australia.