Managing director of OTI Racing Terry Henderson has confirmed plans to target a Group 1 weight-for-age double this Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival with the Cox Plate 2014 and Mackinnon Stakes on the horizon for European galloper Seussical.
The Victorian-based OTI syndication will again be well represented across the majors with internationally-trained hopefuls this spring.
They’ve got a four-horse staying contingent set for the spring cup features including 2012 Geelong Cup winner Gatewood and Andrew Fabre’s French-trained Prix de Barbeville winner Montclair heading towards the $6.2 million Group 1 Melbourne Cup (3200m) at Flemington on November 4.
As for their major weight-for-age hope, that title belongs to the Luca Cumani-trained Galileo stallion Seussical.
The rising five-year-old is only lightly raced with seven career starts to date, three of which they’ve won.
They have only been under Cumani’s care for one of those however when a four length winner over 2092m at York last October.
Their other most notable effort, and their sole Black Type start to date, was one run before that when 12 months ago they finished a close third behind Dibayani in the Listed King George V Cup (2212m) in Ireland.
Irish stayer Dibayani went on to frank that form with their Group 1 form at Sha Tin when third to Able Friend in the Group 1 Hong Kong Mile (1600m), third to Designs On Rome in the Group 1 Hong Kong Derby (2000m) and second to Blazing Speed last time out in the Group 1 Chater Cup (2400m) on May 25.
Seussical been in the paddock since their York romp maturing and are expected to return to racing in Europe next month.
“He’ll have two races at least in Europe before he comes over and the first of those is likely to be in the second half of July,” Henderson told Racing Victoria.
Henderson is hoping the progressive type can go all the way to the $3 million Group 1 Cox Plate (2040m) at Moonee Valley on October 25.
However the more realistic goal is the $1 million Group 1 Mackinnon Stakes (2000m), also weight-for-age, on Victoria Derby Day at Flemington on November 1.
“I think he’s got what it takes but whether he earns a start in the Cox Plate by the time the race is on, time will tell,” Henderson explained.
“He hasn’t had many runs so he probably lacks a little bit of ringcraft but he’s a beautifully bred horse and he might be the type we bring out here and aim at a Mackinnon Stakes or something like that later this year.”
Futures Cox Plate betting is already open pre-nomination stage at Ladbrokes.com.au with Gai Waterhouse’s Street Cry stallion Carlton House ($9) leading the way.
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