BAUER, the 2008 Melbourne Cup runner-up, has earned yet another shot at the world's richest handicap race after registering his first victory in nearly three years with a boilover win at Haydock in Britain at the weekend.
Bauer, now a nine-year-old by Australian time, earned a spot in the quarantine yard alongside fellow Melbourne-bound horses from the Luca Cumani stable in Manighar, Drunken Sailor and former Chilean galloper Sahara Sun when he powered home late to win over 2800 metres.
Terry Henderson's syndicate OTI Racing is a part-owner of the grey galloper, who missed winning the 2008 Melbourne Cup by a nose when Viewed beat him.
He said Bauer was booked to join his stablemates in quarantine on Friday and then on the Melbourne-bound plane on September 22.
But he conceded the horse still had much to do. ''That form from 2008 has all lapsed now so he has to re-qualify for the Melbourne Cup and unfortunately last night's race did not do that,'' Henderson said. ''That means we'll have to go back to the Geelong Cup (which Bauer won in 2008) to try to earn his spot.
''We were delighted with his effort. He looked like the Bauer of old the way he ran home.''
Henderson said Manighar and Drunken Sailor were likely to run in the Caulfield Cup on their way to the Melbourne Cup while emerging former Chilean horse Sahara Sun gets his chance to earn a trip when he makes his debut for the Cumani stable at Doncaster in England on Wednesday night.
''He's shaping along quite well and if he shows us his class, then the Cox Plate might come into focus for him,'' he said.
Also over the weekend in Europe, Melbourne Cup entrant Modun might have attracted the eyes of influential Australian owners with his win, for trainer Michael Stoute, at group 3 level over 2400 metres at Kempton.
It is understood a sale of the horse could be completed at the weekend with the son of King's Best likely to be flown to Australia later this month.