Admire Deus (Image: Japan Racing Association)
It is fewer than six months until 'the race that stops a nation', and some international contenders have put their hand up for a potential tilt at the 2017 Emirates Melbourne Cup.
Admire Deus finished fourth in the Tenno Sho (3200m) in Japan on April 30, and connections have declared their early intentions to travel to Melbourne for the first Tuesday in November.
Trainer Tomoyuki Umeda is not foreign to the idea of bringing a runner Down Under for the Cup, as he had the ill-fated Caulfield Cup winner Admire Rakti in 2014.
And on a face-value comparison, Admire Rakti finished 13th in the Tenno Sho before his Caulfield Cup win and subsequent unfortunate Emirates Melbourne Cup run.
However, connections have told Yahoo in Japan if they did decide on heading south, they would bypass the Caulfield feature this time around.
That doesn't come as a shock when you factor in what happened with Fame Game in 2015.
Stewards grilled Fame Game's connections after the Japanese galloper was an eye-catching sixth at Caulfield, with the notion put to them that they were just coming for a run prior to the Emirates Melbourne Cup - and aiming to run well without winning so as to avoid a penalty.
Admire Deus is now spelling at Northern Farm in Hokkaido, with trainer Umeda ruling out a crack at the Group 1 Takarazuka Memorial on June 25 as they eye the Melbourne spring.
Meanwhile, Australian Thoroughbred Bloodstock has had a bit of a rough run of it in 2017, but they might have found another Cup contender overnight in France.
ATB lost Group 3 winner Taiyoo in January after the seven-year-old broke down at Hobart, before the news 2016 Emirates Melbourne Cup runner-up Heartbreak City was euthanised after a trackwork incident on Sunday shocked the racing world.
But with every cloud comes a silver lining, and those involved in the ATB syndicate would have been thrilled to see the five-year-old Tiberian win the G3 Prix d'Hedouville at Saint-Cloud on Monday (local time).