AN exciting Irish-bred stayer is one of two high-weighted horses Ciaron Maher is preparing for the $8 million Melbourne Cup at Flemington on November 5.
Southern France, who is handicapped to carry 55.5 kilograms in the race that stops a nation, was recently purchased by stable clients for the powerful Maher-Eustace training operation.
Racing Victoria's (RV) executive general manager for racing Greg Carpenter has shown the regard he has for Southern France by allocating the lightly-raced five-year-old only 2.5kg under the top-weight Kew Gardens who has 58kg.
Tough stayer Humidor has been handicapped to 56kgs for the Maher-Eustace stable in the 3200-metre Melbourne Cup.
Kenedna, Dal Harrald, Yogi, Azuro, Bondeiger and Wall Of Fire are the stable's other horses entered in the race.
The Winslow-raised Maher said he was excited to have the former Aidan O'Brien-trained Southern France in his care.
"We've still got a couple of hurdles to get over with Southern France before he runs in the Melbourne Cup," he said.
"He's got great credentials for a race like the Melbourne Cup.
"He's shown plenty of promise from a limited amount of starts. He's got to go through quarantine before he can run in Australia.
"We've entered a good team of horses for the Melbourne Cup but there's a lot of water to go under the bridge before then make the cup field."
Warrnambool trainer Jarrod McLean has entered his group one winner Trap For Fools while fellow local trainer Lindsey Smith, who also has a stable in Perth, entered Once Were Lost.
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