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Automatic Melbourne Cup Entry For US Race Winner
California's Santa Anita Park & Melbourne's Victoria Racing Club announced a strategic partnership that will see the winner of this year's San Juan Capistrano Invitational Handicap gain automatic entry into the $5 million Gr1 Emirates Melbourne Cup (3200m). The 2007 San Juan Capistrano will be run on Sunday, and the winner will gain automatic inclusion into the final field for the Melbourne Cup on the proviso that nomination, 1st, 2nd, 3rd and final acceptance for the horse are made. The 2007 San Juan Capistrano winner will, in effect, be exempt from all balloting clauses pursuant to the conditions of the 2007 Emirates Melbourne Cup. The VRC's racing manager James Earls said, "The San Juan Capistrano Invitational Handicap and the Emirates Melbourne Cup are ranked as two of the most significant races in terms of thoroughbred staying races around the world. We hope that the partnership between the VRC and Santa Anita Park will encourage American owners and trainers to consider taking part in this truly international thoroughbred event." The $250,000 San Juan Capistrano (1 3⁄4 miles) was run for the first time in 1935 and has been won by such turf luminaries as Seabiscuit in 1937, Noor in 1950, Intent in 1952 and '53, George Royal in 1965 and '66, Fiddle Isle in 1970, Cougar II in 1971, La Zanzara in 1975, Exceller in 1978, John Henry in 1980, Dahar in 1986, Great Communicator in 1988, Kotashaan in 1993, and Bien Bien in 1994.