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The Group 1 2013 Caulfield Cup remains the spring goal for Tuscan Fire despite failing in the Group 2 Adelaide Cup on Monday.
The six-year-old laboured in hot conditions to finish at the back of the 20-horse field despite many tipping him as one of the horses to beat in the Morphetville staying feature.
Trainer Dan O’Sullivan said a lengthy campaign had “caught up” with the usually consistent gelding who will now head to the spelling paddock.
He also said his charge struggled to handle a hot Adelaide day which reached 40 degrees.
Tuscan Fire booked his ticket into the prestigious Caulfield Cup when winning the Mornington Cup by three lengths last month.
The Mornington Cup winner is exempt from the Caulfield Cup ballot but O’Sullivan said he will still have to earn his place.
“There’s no point in wasting a run, if he can go around and win something easier we’ll do that, but if his form warrants a run in the Cup we’ll go that way,” he told Racingnetwork.
O’Sullivan said the son of Tuscanos will be given a “reality check” two or three weeks before the Caulfield Cup in order to see if he is up to what is always a quality race.
Tuscan Fire is coming off a career-best campaign which began in Geelong in November.
From 10 starts the Ballarat-based gelding won three times and featured in the minor placings on another five occasions.
Apart from his Mornington Cup win he also finished second in the Mornington Cup Prelude and third in the Roy Higgins Quality.
Tuscan Fire has won 10 of 43 starts and collected more than $500,000 in prizemoney.
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