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Melbourne Cup contenders return to Australia

The second wave of a leading New Zealand stable is ready to begin the road to the Cups.

The Murray Baker and Andrew Forsman-trained mares Bonneval and Lizzie L’Amour run in Saturday’s Group Two Dato Tan Chin Nam Stakes at Moonee Valley on a path leading towards the Caulfield Cup 2017 and Melbourne Cup 2017.

The pair form part of a four-horse team from the stable in Melbourne for the spring.

Jon Snow started his Cups campaign when sixth in the Memsie Stakes at Caulfield last Saturday while potential Victoria Derby contender Weather With You runs at Sandown on Wednesday.

Bonneval and Lizzie L’Amour were taken to Moonee Valley on Tuesday for an introduction to the track.

“They both seemed to stride out well at the finish,” Baker said.

“The wet winter has been hard on the horses and I’m pleased to be over here on some good tracks.”

Baker expects Bonneval to be outpaced on Saturday, unless the track softens up, but said she would improve with some better weather and a change of environment.

A year older than Bonneval, Lizzie L’Amour is more advanced at this stage than her stablemate.

“She’s a Group One winner at weight-for-age, a good staying mare that goes well fresh and she’s trialled excellently,” Baker said.

“She’s the sharpest of the two at a mile but both will benefit from the run I would think.”

The mares are qualified for the Caulfield Cup, a race Baker won with Mongolian Khan in 2015.

Baker and Forsman could have three runners in next month’s 2400m Caulfield Cup.

This year’s Australian Derby winner Jon Snow is following a weight-for-age path on the way with Baker pleased with the four-year-old’s first-up performance.

“He pulled up really good and should benefit a bit from it,” Baker said.

“I was surprised he showed that bit of dash as I thought he’d be out the back.”

Jon Snow’s next run will be in the Makybe Diva Stakes at Flemington on September 16.

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