Ballarat-based trainer Dan O’Sullivan is gearing up for a big Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival with his rising seven-year-old stayer Tuscan Fire who he hopes can develop into a genuine chance for the Caulfield Cup 2013 despite their last start failure in Adelaide.
The veteran Tuscanos gelding lined up for career start number 43 at Morphettville on March 11 but failed to beat home any other runner when 58.5kg, barrier 16 of 20 and stepping up to the two miles all got the better of them in the Group 2 Adelaide Cup (3200m) where they finished dead last over 54 lengths off the winner Norsqui.
A winner of 10 of their career starts so far Tuscan Fire really felt the heat of the 40 degree day for the Adelaide Cup but has since been impressing O’Sullivan in their return to work at home.
Tuscan Fire, who also has experience in the jumps racing scene in Victoria, proved their class back in February when the easy winner in the Listed Mornington Cup (2400m).
They also ran a nice third to Kutchinsky in the Listed Roy Higgins Quality (2600m) at Flemington in March before their Adelaide Cup failure.
If all goes to plan this coming spring then O’Sullivan will set Tuscan Fire for an ambitious grand final in the $2.5 million Group 1 BMW Caulfield Cup (2400m) on October 19 which they earned an automatic entry for with their Mornington Cup victory earlier in the year.
“I think he can get back to that level, whether he improves again, time will tell,” O’Sullivan said.
“It won’t be the big improvement we saw last time because he was down in grade and down in handicaps.
“(The chance of running in the Caulfield Cup) is exciting, but you are a long way away from it so you are not getting excited about it yet.”
Having been back in work for nearly a month now Tuscan Fire is expected to resume racing in early August with first-up options including a 1400m Flemington feature or possibly straight to the mile at Caulfield.
O’Sullivan has also already plotted a pretty firm path to the Caulfield Cup should the horse come back as well as expected with the trainer planning to bypass both the Turnbull Stakes and Caulfield Stakes in favour of a final lead-up in the Benalla Cup.
With Caulfield Cup nominations not due out until August, ante-post betting is open now at bookmaker.com.au offering up some really generous prices on possible starters in the classic including $51 on Tuscan Fire.
To check out the full Caulfield Cup odds and get behind your early selections then follow the link to bookmaker.com.au who offer the country’s best range of Fixed Win horse racing odds.