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Early favourite to take out the upcoming 2012 The BMW this Sydney Autumn Racing Carnival, Americain impressed new trainer David Hayes with a strong galloper at Seymour on Thursday.
Winner of the 2010 Melbourne Cup and the eye-catching last-to-fourth placed Melbourne Cup runner in last year’s edition of the world’s richest handicap, former French-trained stayer Americain is preparing to have his debut run for Hayes since connections chose the Victorian horseman to take over the Aussie preparation of their $5.3 million earner.
Bred in the USA and owned by Australian connections, the outstanding Dynaformer seven-year-old is yet to race in 2012 but already has a stranglehold over the futures markets for a number of the autumn’s elite levels at Luxbet.
At their last official start the valuable stallion enjoyed their fourth win from five starts on Australian soil when beating home the likes of Manighar and Mourayan to win the Group 2 Zipping Classic (2400m) at Sandown on November 12.
This week Americain showed he had come through his time off since then well and was ready to get back to the turf under race conditions in a flying exhibition gallop at Seymour when ridden by Steven Arnold.
“Very happy,” Hayes said of Americain’s run.
“He wasn’t out to run time but they said he broke 36 (seconds for the last 600m), 34.8 or something.
“The thing I loved was how long it took him to pull up, he worked another 1000-metres after the line, not intentionally, but in a nice way he was just wanting to do more.”
Two of the main autumn goals for Americain this season are scheduled as the $1 million Group 1 Australian Cup (2000m) at Flemington on March 3 and then in Sydney, the $2.25 million Group 1 The BMW (2400m) at Rosehill Gardens on April 2.
“The Australian Cup and then The BMW, that’s the preferred option,” Hayes said.
“Providing Flemington can produce a dead track, which I’m sure they can.”
He dominates the futures markets for both through Luxbet at a quote of $4.20 for the 2012 Australian Cup and slightly longer odds of $5 for The BMW 2012.
A genuine stayer whose best form comes at 2400-metres and above, Hayes said the 2000-metres of the Australian Cup for a resuming run held no fears.
“I know the 2000-metres won’t worry him at all in the Australian Cup,” he said.
“It’s a juggling act having him fresh enough so he can explode and having him fit enough.
“He’s never been out of work in his life, so after the Sandown Classic and three runs in as many weeks including a Melbourne Cup, he’s got great residual fitness so I wouldn’t be worrying about him being underdone in the Australian Cup.”
Hayes is now looking excitedly towards not only the autumn, but the spring carnival as well and knows that there is some personal pressure on him as a trainer having such a headlining horse among his contingent.
“Every stable needs a headline horse, and we were short of one for a couple of years,” he said.
“Hopefully he does his best and we know how good that is.
“He has done everything we have asked of him.”
Co-owner Kevin Bamford was quick to name the $500,000 Group 1 Turnbull Stakes (2000m) at Flemington, the iconic $3 million Group 1 Cox Plate (2040m) at Moonee Valley and another shot at the $6 million Group 1 Melbourne Cup (3200m) as the long-term spring goals for Americain.
“Hopefully, if he can win during the autumn carnival, we will set him for a three-race campaign – the Turnbull Stakes, Cox Plate and Melbourne Cup,” Bamford said.
“When he no longer wants to race, we will consider stud duties, but he is a racehorse who has had only 28 races and really he is still only a baby.”
The other star galloper at Seymour on Thursday was the overseas-bound Sepoy, Peter Snowden’s champion three-year-old to resume racing Saturday week in the $350,000 Group 1 Oakleigh Plate (1100m) at Caulfield on Blue Diamond Stakes Day.
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