Melbourne Cup 2021: Spanish Mission is the 'right type of horse' for Kingsclere trainer Andrew Balding in Group 1 race at Flemington
Kingsclere trainer Andrew Balding will be flying the flag for Britain in this year’s Melbourne Cup as Spanish Mission lines in the Group 1 showdown, which takes place early on Tuesday morning.
The race at Flemington will get underway at 4am tomorrow (Tuesday) morning and Balding’s five-year-old is the only British representative in Australia.
Spanish Mission, who will be ridden by Craig Williams, finished third in the Ascot Gold Cup and was so close to pipping Stradivarius in the Lonsdale Cup in August.
Balding, who is aiming to create more history as a trainer, is unable to travel to Australia for the event.
Speaking to Sky Sports Racing, the Park House handler said: “We have had some great trips to Melbourne in the past and it’s a fantastic place to go for the Spring Carnival.
“It’s a special event and it’s sad we can’t be there, but the horse is there and that’s the most important thing.”
With Balding not in Australia, trainer Tony Noonan and his son Tony have been overseeing Spanish Mission’s preparations for the race.
Former Kingsclere resident Neil Varley, who used to work for Ian Balding, lives in Melbourne and has been helping with training too.
Despite the race attracting plenty of opposition, Balding believes Spanish Mission has the form to run an impressive race.
“I think he is the right type of horse for the race, bringing high-class staying form from Europe into the event and he is well-suited for a race of this nature.
“He has a fantastic season. He was narrowly beating in the Lonsdale, had a fine second in Saudi Arabia, winning the Yorkshire Cup and running a great race in the Gold Cup.
“He is bringing in a good level of form to the race, he stays well and he’s not short of a turn of foot.”