Verema (green cap): will be the Aga Khan's first Melbourne Cup runnerPICTURE: Patrick McCann (racingpost.com/photos)
Verema set for Melbourne Cup bid
Australia: The Aga Khan will have his first Melbourne Cup runner following confirmation Verema will make the trip to Australia.
The mare is trained by Alain de Royer Dupre who prepared Americain to win the 2010 Melbourne Cup.
Verema won the Group Two Prix de Kergolay on her most recent start, the same race Americain won on his way to the Cup.
The Aga Khan is one of the world's most successful racehorse owners and breeders and his representative Georges Rimaud said he was delighted to be a part of the Cup.
"His Highness the Aga Khan is delighted to have his first ever runner in the Melbourne Cup," Rimaud told Racing Victoria.
"Verema is an improving filly that has won two consecutive Group 2 staying races against the colts. She likes good ground, travels well and is very consistent.
"Her trainer, Alain de Royer Dupre, who previously won the Melbourne Cup with Americain, believes she has the right profile to be competitive in this race, so His Highness decided to let her take her chance."
Leigh Jordan, RV's international recruitment officer, said the Aga Khan's participation underlined the internationalisation of the Cup.
"His Highness the Aga Khan is one of the most influential owners and breeders in the world, so we are delighted that he has decided to send his first runner to Australia," Jordon said.
"We have seen French horses win two of the past three Cups and Verema will arrive in Melbourne with a similarly impressive form line.
"Fit and well, she will be one of the hardest to beat at Flemington."
Verema has four wins and three placings from 12 starts and has been ridden in all bar one race by Christophe Lemaire who steered French horse Dunaden to victory in the 2011 Cup.
Nominations for the Melbourne Cup close next Tuesday with weights released two weeks later.