Victoria’s top trainer Peter Moody is eyeing a big Melbourne Festival of Racing for his French import Kesampour who he hopes to aim at the 2014 Australian Cup in early March.
Lightly raced with just 11 starts to date, the King’s Best stallion began their career in France for Melbourne Cup winning trainer Mikel Delzangles who won the world’s richest handicap in 2011 with Dunaden.
There Kesampour was competitive in some of the country’s majors including last year’s edition of the Group 1 Prix Du Jockey Club (2100m) when fourth to Saonois.
Purchased by Australian connections Graeme & Linda Huddy, Kesampour was bought down under late last year to begin training with Moody of Black Caviar fame.
The horse was well beaten in their Australian debut during August when seventh to new stablemate Ibicenco in a black type at Caulfield but would show vast improvement very quickly.
A Group 3 second to Mr O’Ceirin in the Naturalism Stakes when stepped up to 2000m followed in September before a brave fifth behind the Lloyd Williams-owned Sea Moon in the Group 2 Herbert Power Stakes (2400m) in October.
At their most recent start Kesampour was third beaten two and a half lengths by subsequent Group 2 Zipping Classic winner Sertorius in the Listed Bendigo Cup over the mile and a half on October 30.
Sent out after that they are now tipped for a Melbourne Autumn Racing Carnival return against Group 1 company in the $400,000 Group 1 C.F. Orr Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield Racecourse on February 8.
There they will meet star stablemate Moment Of Change, narrow runner-up to Buffering in last weekend’s Group 1 Winterbottom Stakes (1400m) in Perth, who Moody is also aiming at the $500,000 Group 1 Futurity Stakes (1400m) over the same track and distance as the Orr Stakes a fortnight later.
After that run Kesampour is likely to be stepped back up in distance for the $1 million Group 1 Darley Australian Cup (2000m) at Flemington on March 8.
“Kesampour will probably be aimed at the Australian Cup, I thought he was the right sort of horse for a race like that,” Moody told Racing Victoria.
Also among the Group 1-bound autumn stars for Moody is up-and-coming three-year-old Thermal Current.
The Exceed And Excel colt has won two of their eight starts to date, most recently overcoming interference to take out a Group 3 at Moonee Valley on Cox Plate Day.
Last seen running fifth beaten just three lengths by the Chris Waller-trained Zoustar in the Group 1 Coolmore Stud Stakes (1200m) at Flemington on Derby Day, Moody is hoping they can break their elite level maiden in the autumn.
They will attempt to do it in the $400,000 Group 1 Oakleigh Plate (1100m), held at the same meeting as the Futurity Stakes, for which they will be aimed at.
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