Va Bank (Image: Twitter - @ewarsaw)
The Emirates Melbourne Cup has been won by horses trained out of Ireland, Japan, France and Germany and Poland could soon have its name added to the list if Team Valor has its way.
Next year’s edition of the $6 million race is the early target for Polish Triple Crown winner Va Bank.
Barry Irwin, CEO at Team Valor, told Thoroughbred Daily News that Va Bank had been aimed at this year’s Arc de Triomphe, but the plan beyond this year is to have a shot at the 2018 Emirates Melbourne Cup.
“I think the way he relaxes that a mile-and-a-half is going to be fine, but one thing we want to try is the Emirates Melbourne Cup (3200m),” Irwin explained.
“He’s five years old, and what we decided to do this year is to see if we have an Arc horse and then after that, next year, we’re going to point him for the Melbourne race.
“We’ll test him enough in Germany and France over a mile-and three-quarters and two miles and see if he’s up to it.
“The one thing this horse has got going for him is he’s got an incredible temperament. He can relax, he moves along like a pony and even though you know the result, you’re watching and thinking, ‘there’s no way this horse is getting up from there’.
“He’s got tremendous acceleration, he’s got a lot of desire and he’s just a machine.”
Va Bank, who is by Archipenko, is trained by Maciej Janikowski in Warsaw and won his first 10 races in Poland before claiming the Preis der Sparkassen Finanzgruppe, a Group 3 turf race over 2012m, in Germany in August last year.
He was beaten for the first time when upstaged by Polish Derby winner Caccini Wielka Warszawska in October last year.
Va Bank, who returned to training midway through March, is slated to return to racing in the Listed Preis von Dahlwitz (2000m) in Berlin on April 16.
“The horse looks good from the pictures I’ve seen and from the reports I’ve received,” Irwin told TDN.