Ace Victorian horseman David Hayes has been named as the trainer to take over the preparation of former Melbourne Cup winner Americain for their autumn campaign in Australia, the champion stayer expected to target the Australian Cup 2012 at Flemington in March.
The Americain-bred, Australian-owned and originally French-trained Americain has had two successful preparations down under to date.
Their first in 2010 saw them win the Geelong Cup in their Aussie race debut before their upset success in the iconic Melbourne Cup.
Twelve months later the Dynaformer seven-year-old returned to Oz winning the Moonee Valley Cup in emphatic style before their brave fourth to fellow French raider Dunaden when defending their Melbourne Cup title in 2011.
Americian was last seen winning the Group 2 Zipping Classic (2400m) at Sandown on November 12.
After connections including co-owners Gerry Ryan and Kevin Bamford made the decision to keep Americain on Aussie soil for an assault on the Sydney & Melbourne Autumn Racing Carnivals, there was much speculation over which trainer would take over their preparation.
On Tuesday the decision for Hayes to step in for maestro French trainer Alain De Royer Dupre was officially announced.
Colleen Bamford, wife of Kevin Bamford and also a part owner, said the decision to send Americain to Hayes’ Euroa stable, in central Victoria, was made after inspections of a number of other stables.
“We are just trying to replicate the conditions that would suit the horse best,” Bamford said.
“David Hayes’ place basically came closest with the training facilities and stabling.”
Hall of Famer Hayes was admittedly excited to begin working with Americain saying it would bring a lot of positive attention to his new racing operation at Euroa.
“It is fantastic,” he said.
“He (Americain) is a high quality horse and the most exciting stayer around.
“I am really, really excited to get him and thrilled to get the opportunity.
“For me it is a great endorsement of the property and myself.
“I think the country environment will suit him.”
Aiding Hayes throughout the autumn will be Stephanie Nigge, Royer Dupre’s assistant trainer who has had a remarkable relationship with Americain and has been credited with much of their success having looked after him during his time in Australia so far.
“Stephanie has clearly been a key part of Americain’s success as she has an amazing connection with the horse,” Hayes said.
“She should be five and nought travelling the horse and it will be great to have her there to tell me all his idiosyncrasies.
“I won’t have to learn about the horse through trial and error so it will be a really, really big help.”
Original talk in regards to Americain’s autumn goal was on the horse targeting the $400,000 Group 1 Ranvet Stakes (2000m) at Rosehill on March 24 during the Sydney Autumn Carnival with an eye to the lucrative $2.25 million Group 1 The BMW (2400m) also at Rosehill on April 7.
Hayes, however, announced plans to head towards the Group 1 Australian Cup (2000m) at Flemington on March 10 with the race fitting better into his campaign.
“If Flemington can produce a dead track I think he would lean towards the Australian Cup,” Hayes said.
“I’d like to space his runs so he has three weeks in between and he is so good at Flemington.”
While the autumn carnival is still a while off, punters can enjoy a supercharged summer racing season with the next Group 1 race on the calendar being the Kingston Town Classic at Ascot in Perth on December 3.
Check out the full odds and options for all the end of season showdowns right now by opening your online betting account with Luxbet.