Coetzee and Faralmond form South African team for Vase

PUBLISHED : Monday, 26 October, 1998, 12:00am
UPDATED : Monday, 26 October, 1998, 12:00am

Former South African champion Felix Coetzee is the first locally based jockey to secure an overseas ride in December's International Races.

Coetzee, retained by David Hill, will partner Faralmond, South Africa's lone runner at the December 13 seasonal showpiece.

The mare runs in the International Vase and Coetzee was snapped up by connections when Douglas Whyte, who has ridden her before in South Africa, was not available.

'I am totally committed to Indigenous and I am sure he is going to run a great race in the Vase, particularly after another handy win on Saturday,' said Whyte.

'Faralmond is a game type and a good one. Probably not quite as good as London News, but I rode her to win a Group Three in South Africa and she has a lot of ability.' Indigenous, who must be a strong chance in the Vase judging by his performance last year when finishing fourth to Luso and Posidonas, may not have to face Caitano. The German runner did brilliantly in last year's Japan Cup and ran in this year's Arc - in Japanese colours.

Director of racing Winfried Engelbrecht-Bresges confirmed that Caitano had to be listed as doubtful to run in the Vase, where the John Gosden-trained Taipan is first reserve.

'Caitano is now owned by Japanese interests and it would be logical to think the horse would run in the Japan Cup. I am certainly prepared to hear that,' said Engelbrecht-Bresges.

The biggest threat to participation of some of the interesting European designated runners in the International Races is the Breeders' Cup, run in the first week of November at Churchill Downs in Kentucky.

The Sir Michael Stoute-trained Among Men, the Group One Sussex Stakes winner, is among at least half a dozen European runners and reserves due to make the trip to America.

In the past that has taken an almost immediate toll of the intended Hong Kong runners.

On the Melbourne Cup front, the 66-1 winner of the Caulfield Cup, Taufan's Melody, will now be ridden by Paddy Payne in the Flemington showpiece on November 3.

'I think it is a great ride for Payne. Damien Oliver has opted for Sheer Danzig because he is rated higher in Britain by Timeform but the way he won the Caulfield Cup would make Taufan's Melody a better ride in my book,' said Victoria Racing Club racing manager Les Benton yesterday.

Direct Hong Kong interest in the great Australian race centres on champion jockey Basil Marcus, who will partner The Hind, and Sheer Danzig, who is owned by Jockey Club steward, Ronald Arculli.

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