The Caulfield Cup 2013 this October has become a realistic long-term Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival option for Chris Waller’s French import Bayrir who ran a nice second in their Australian debut over the weekend.
Medicean stallion Bayrir, formerly prepared by Melbourne Cup winning trainer Alain de Royer Dupre in France, now races in Sydney with Waller having been transferred to his care earlier this year.
After a much hyped lead-up the four-year-old had their maiden start down under on Saturday at Rosehill Gardens in the $100,000 Listed Winter Challenge (1500m).
There was plenty of money on last year’s Grade 1 Secretariat Stakes winner in the USA too with Bayrir jumping the $3.10 favourite.
Ridden by big race specialist Hugh Bowman the horse, considered good enough by previous connections to run in last year’s Prix de L’Arc De Triomphe, travelled beautifully from their inside alley in the 10-horse field.
Right up front with the Gai Waterhouse-trained outsider Kinnersley, who would hold on for a close third, Bayrir looked to be the winner with only 50 or so metres left to travel.
However their stablemate Coup Ay Tee relished a five kilo advantage over the 59kg topweight Bayrir and was able to slip through a narrow gap to score a half-length victory.
While Waller was thrilled to win the first stakes race of the new season he also had plenty of positives to say about Bayrir.
“It was good to see him (Coup Ay Tee) do that and it was just a great ride (from Jason Collett),” WA Today reported Waller as saying post-race.
“The other horse did a great job and he will get better.”
That “better” could be good enough to go all the way to the world’s richest mile and a half handicap, Waller admitting he would love to get Bayrir in the $2.5 million Group 1 BMW Caulfield Cup (2400m) on October 19.
“We will have a look at him after that, but it was very good,” Waller said.
“There is a race for him in a couple of weeks and hopefully he will put on a bit more condition.
“I would like to think he could get through to a race like the Caulfield Cup, but there is a long time to go until then. He certainly has made the right start.”
Also in Bayrir’s fan club is now Bowman who was full of post-performance praise for his mount’s brave run over a distance too short for a true European staying type.
“I didn’t expect him to have a turn of foot at 1500 metres, but he will when they get over further,” Bowman said.
“He is a very smart horse and will only get better.”
2013 Caulfield Cup nominations close tomorrow, Tuesday August 8, and will be published right here at Races.com.au with Bayrir’s name sure to be among the early entries.