Messara’s Melbourne Cup Conundrum

27 August, 2020

John Messara’s dream of winning the Melbourne Cup was enough to keep him awake following Skyward’s impressive return to form at Deauville in the early hours of Monday morning.

The Northern Hemisphere four-year-old Camelot colt displayed the brilliance which saw him unbeaten from three starts last season to register his first Group win at his sixth start in the G3 Prix de Reux (2500m).

“I got up to watch it and it was very hard to go to sleep after that, the old brain was working out what to do next,” Messara quipped.

The challenge for Messara is multifaceted. He owns 75 per cent of Skyward, with the other quarter retained by original sole owner Arno Curty.

The G2 Grand Prix de Deauville, also over 2500m at Deauville which is held seven days after the G2 Prix Kergorlay (3000m) on August 30, looms as the logical next race for Skyward but Messara is grappling with how to place the horse to advantage with the Melbourne Cup in mind.

This year’s Melbourne Cup was always Messara’s intention when he acquired the Fabrice Chappet-trained Skyward in September 2019. However, the COVID-19 pandemic has caused complications in how overseas-based trainers campaign their horses for the Melbourne Spring Carnival.
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