This Saturday former Melbourne Cup winner Americain will make their Sydney debut in the 2012 The BMW Stakes, their new trainer David Hayes hoping for an inside draw for the Rosehill Gardens showdown.
One of an incredible five elite level features highlighting the 2012 Golden Slipper Day meeting, the $2.25 million Group 1 The BMW (2400m) attracted 77 nominations when early entries were taken back in February.
Pre-field The BMW odds at our preferred online bookie bookmaker.com.au are clearly led by seven-year-old Americain at a quote of $2.50.
Previously prepared in France for maestro trainer Alain de Royer Dupre, who trained them for their 2010 Melbourne Cup victory, Americain debuted for Hayes at Flemington on March 10 when running a half-length away third behind fellow European import Manighar in the Australian Cup (2000m).
Hayes said they decided to go first-up into the Australian Cup in Melbourne instead of the Group 1 Ranvet Stakes over the same distance at Rosehill a fortnight later, and that he was happy with how the horse had performed.
“He hasn’t missed a beat,” Hayes said.
“I was frightened he’d be too dour for the Ranvet, so I decided to miss it.
“The Australian Cup run had a mile-and-a-half (2400m) written all over it.
“The last thing he needed was a mile-and-a-quarter (2000m) race to take the speed out of his legs.
Going up to the 2400-metres on Saturday second-up is going to suit Americain, Hayes just hoping they come up with a favourable inside gate when the 2012 The BMW final field and barrier draw are released on Tuesday morning.
Hayes believes that had it not been for their barrier eight of eight Australian Cup draw Americain may likely have won and doesn’t want another opportunity missed because of a bad gate on Saturday.
“We had to go back further than we would have liked in the Australian Cup, three or four lengths, and then had to circle the field,” Hayes said.
“Up to the mile and a half he can settle a little closer, especially if we get a good draw. He doesn’t have to go so far back in his races.”
For their first-up run in the Australian Cup Americain was ridden by Steve Arnold.
Arnold, however, will be replaced by the horse’s regular rider the French-based Gerald Mosse in The BMW.
Mosse is set to partner Americain in a Rosehill track gallop on Tuesday morning, the galloper having been stabled at Randwick since last Thursday night.
“I’m very happy with my big horse who worked at Randwick yesterday morning,” Hayes said.
“He worked nicely under Brad Rawiller and he is out to have a look at Rosehill on Tuesday.
“We’re working him at the same time every day.
“The only time he’ll be out of his routine will be when he goes to Rosehill tomorrow.
“We thought him seeing Rosehill, Mosse riding at Rosehill, outweighed any break in routine.
“It is for the horse and jockey to get a feel of the track.
“I was very happy with his work on Saturday morning, he has been working the alternate way at home and he handled it perfectly at Randwick.
“He is probably better on his Melbourne leg (left-handed) but he has shown enough for me right-handed to suggest he will be fine.”
Following The BMW 2012 Hayes will target Americain towards the $500,000 Group 1 Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2000m) run on the final day of the Royal Randwick Autumn Racing Carnival, Saturday April 28.
“I’ll freshen him up after Saturday,” Hayes said.
“He’ll have fresh legs for the Queen Elizabeth on the last day of the Randwick carnival.
“Often that race falls away, it’ll be nice to have a crack at it with a fresh horse.”
Americain’s last-start conqueror the now Peter Moody-trained Australian Cup winner Manighar occupies the second line of The BMW betting at bookmaker.com.au paying $4.60.
Australian Cup runner-up, reigning Caulfield Cup champion Southern Speed is the other top fancy for The BMW on Saturday currently paying $8 in the early bookmaker.com.au markets.
Stay tuned to Races.com.au for all the latest Golden Slipper Day race fields, news and betting updates throughout the week.
Today is your last chance to get in on the generous futures prices on The BMW Stakes nominations before acceptances are taken tomorrow.