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Forgotten Rules Doubtful For Melbourne Cup: Weld
Dermot Weld says that talented Irish stayer Forgotten Rules is a doubtful starter in this year's Melbourne Cup. Forgotten Rules was mentioned as a possible Melbourne Cup horse after resuming with a victory in the Gr3 Vintage Crop Stakes at Navan in May, but a third behind Trip To Paris in the Gold Cup at Ascot and a disappointing showing behind the progressive Bondi Beach in the Gr3 Curragh Cup on 28 June seems to have dampened Weld's enthusiasm. The master horseman said Forgotten Rules needed soft ground to perform at his best - ground he was unlikely to get in Australia. "He came back and won the Vintage Crop, a very good Group race in Ireland, and in the Gold Cup, in which he started favourite, he finished third. He wasn't beaten very far but he raced on a firm surface," said Weld, who was speaking to RSN radio from Belmont Park in New York last weekend where he had a runner in the Belmont Derby. "And last week I probably backed him up a bit quick in the Curragh Cup and again that was on pretty fast ground...as we say, he loves to get some cut in the ground." He added: "It is unlikely, to be quite honest, that he would go for a Melbourne Cup this year." Weld is recognised as a trailblazer for Northern Hemisphere participation in Australia's most famous race after training Vintage Crop to win the 1991 edition of the race. Vintage Crop achieved fame as the first European horse to win the Melbourne Cup, and in the process established a precedent that has seen the number of overseas horses participating in the great race each year increase exponentially. Weld also touched upon the increasing difficulty of finding a suitable Cup horse, given Australia's growing propensity to purchase high-class European stayers. "I think the problem nowadays, from my point of view, is not the travel anymore, because it's always going to be difficult with quarantine, but the trouble is getting a horse for the Melbourne Cup," Weld said. "Because so many European horses nowadays are being purchased by Australians at huge prices." He added: "That's the way it is and rightly so, you should support your Melbourne Cup. But you should breed more staying horses in Australia to be quite honest."