Foreign grip tightens on Cups
Mike Hedge
09:18 AEST Mon Oct 8 2012

Melbourne's major spring Cups have come even closer to being captured by foreign horses, but at least most of the main protagonists are now owned by Australians.

Two weeks ahead of the Caulfield Cup and a month before the Melbourne Cup Sydney trainer Gai Waterhouse and Melbourne owner Lloyd Williams have launched a team of locally-trained, international runners into a big-race picture almost totally devoid of locally-bred horses.

The Waterhouse-trained Glencadam Gold is pushing for favouritism for the Melbourne Cup and has also seized favouritism for the Caulfield Cup with his outstanding victory in the Metropolitan at Randwick.

And from his four winners in two states on Saturday, Williams has the second favourite in both races and a solid team of back-up chances.

Most betting firms have Glencadam Gold at $6 in a Caulfield Cup market that is heavily revised since last week.

The former English galloper is also the Melbourne Cup favourite as short as $9, but $11 is available with another English stayer Mount Athos at $10.

Glencadam Gold's main challenger at Caulfield shapes as Williams' Irish import Green Moon whose Turnbull Stakes win promoted him to the second line. He is third favourite for the Melbourne Cup at $13.

The chances of an Australian-bred runner winning the country's greatest races has never looked more dismal with the top 14 horses in Melbourne Cup betting all having been born and bred in Europe.

The most prominent locally-bred runner is, somewhat ironically, Ethiopia.

In the Caulfield Cup, 10 of the first 11 in the market began their lives and careers in Europe with the only local among them, Southern Speed, under a cloud following her disappointing Turnbull run.

While the leading horses in the Caulfield Cup betting may be from abroad, nine of them are owned by Australians, including Glencadam Gold.

The Cox Plate, at least, remains under mortgage to the Waterhouse-trained Pierro, a son of champion Australian racehorse and sire, Lonhro.

Pierro is $2.70 favourite for the race regarded as this country's most prestigious, ahead of the New Zealander Ocean Park and Green Moon.

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