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Star American import Winchester is settling in well to life in Australia ahead of a Melbourne Spring Carnival campaign that could feature starts the prestigious 2012 Caulfield and Melbourne Cups.
Bought by Rosemont Stud in Victoria, the three-time Group 1 winner has begun work at Flemington under trainer John Sadler and is adapting well to the conditions.
“He is taking to it well so far and he hasn’t turned a hair,” Rosemont’s Anthony Miven said.
Having raced successfully in Ireland and the USA, the son of Theatrical is a proven traveller and Miven sees no reason as to why the success can’t continue in Australia.
“He started in Ireland and came through their system,” he said.
“Then he performed well in America, so he has travelled and I think that’s held him in good stead to date.”
While yet to detail exact spring plans for the stayer, the Caulfield and Melbourne Cups have been touted as possibilities.
While he is untested at the Melbourne Cup distance of 3200 metres, his form suggests he would be tailor made for the Caulfield Cup, having won two Group 1 races at the 2400-metre distance.
Miven outlined the Group 2 Makybe Diva Stakes (1600m) as a potential kick-off point for Winchester which will be held on September 8 at Flemington.
“A mile at Flemington, which is a track he will at least feel comfortable with, that seems the logical choice.”
Winchester is one of a long list of imports arriving in Australia ahead of the spring carnival, with one Melbourne Cup hopeful Fictional Account to make her Australian debut for David Hayes this weekend.
The former Irish stayer will line up in the 2000-metre Stirling Mortlock Handicap at Fleminton which Hayes hopes will be the start of a Cups campaign.
“We’re hoping she can measure up as a Cups contender,” Hayes said.
The seven-year-old signalled her potential last year in Ireland when beating the highly-rated Fame And Glory to win the Listed Irish Field St Leger Tiral Stakes (2800m).
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