According to the latest trainer records, the talented son of Galileo, Southern France, is leaving the Aidan O’Brien yard and appears to be heading to the Maher and Eustace stable for a tilt at the Melbourne Spring. I, like many others, were very surprised when viewing the nominations for the 2019 Melbourne Cup and spotting the named trainers beside this talented European stayer.
Southern France will come to Australia with a 120 Timeform rating, a figure that gives any horse a chance of winning the Cups. This preparation saw Southern France run the best stayer in the world, Stradivarius, to less than a length at York in the Group 2 Yorkshire Cup over 2800m, before his form tappered off managing just 4th in the Curragh Cup and Goodwood Cup.
— Racing TV (@RacingTV) May 17, 2019
His last start win in the Irish St Leger Trial Stakes over 2800m saw him return to form showing his absolute ability to stay out a strong tempo on any surface ahead of an Irish St Leger tilt. Will he continue onto that race or be on the next plane out to Australia is the unanswered question. As a Colt, the St Leger makes sense, but on a pure prize money basis, I’d have him on the next plane aimed solely at a Caulfield Cup / Melbourne Cup campaign where he will get in well at the weights as a St Leger win would hinder him at the weights for the big dance in November.
Six in a row for Aidan O’Brien as Southern France returns to winning ways in the Group 3 Comer Group International Irish St Leger Trial Stakes under Ryan Moore 👏 pic.twitter.com/tF23o8bft9
— The Curragh Racecourse (@curraghrace) August 16, 2019
A few smart judges noticed the change of stable and Southern France shortened with most bookies from $51 into $26 for the Melbourne Cup. BetEasy are still offering $51 for those that are keen to have a wager this far out. For mine, it’s the right price to have a speculation bet.