Irish-bred mare Fictional Account struggled on Australian soil debut on Saturday after previously being touted as a potential 2012 Melbourne Cup contender.
Prior to Saturday’s Stirling Mortlock Handicap (2000m) at Flemington, trainer David Hayes was confident the seven-year-old was showing promising signs and was hopeful she would go on to feature in the nation’s richest horse race.
“We’re hoping she can measure up as a Cups contender,” Hayes said.
“She’s a big, strong girl that works quite nicely.”
But the daughter of Stravinksy will have to improve rapidly if she is to taste any sort of success at the Melbourne Spring Carnival after labouring to finish last when 10 lengths behind the winner in Saturday’s race.
Ridden by Dwayne Dunn, the rising eight-year-old produced a dour effort, never looking like challenging in the $70,000 handicap.
The former Vincent Ward-trained stayer arrived in Australia with plenty of promise, having won twice at Listed level in Ireland and the UK.
A winner of six of 23 starts, the career highlight for Fictional Account came in August last year when she beat the highly-rated Fame And Glory to take out the Irish Field St Leger Trial Stakes (2800m) at Curragh.
The Stirling Mortlock Handicap was won by Streaky Fella who took top honours by half a length from Galileo Gold.
Fellow import Saptapadi also struggled in her second start of 2012, finishing ninth in the Fujitsu Air Conditioning Handicap (1600m) at Flemington.
Now trained by Jim Conlan in Mornington, Saptapadi started in both the Caulfield and Melbourne Cups last year but finished 14th and 16th respectively.
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