Australian Bloodstock-owned stayer Singing has set themselves up for a possible Caulfield Cup 2014 tilt down under this spring after a nice second place finish in Germany over the weekend.
On Sunday at Hamburg the Singspiel four-year-old crossed second in the Group 2 Hansa-Preis (2400m), causing their Aussie connections to start planning their trip down under for a Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival raid.
After leading nearly all the way in the mile and a half showdown, Singing eventually went down in a thrilling late battle with their stablemate Protectionist.
It was an improved effort from the stallion, prepared in France by Carlos Laffon-Parias, who came off a Group 3 third behind Spiritjim at Longchamp over the same distance in early May.
Australian Bloodstock founder Luke Murrell was especially impressed with the effort as Singing was suited to a firmer track than they got on Sunday.
“We knew it would be tough, it was his first start for seven weeks but he ran really, really well,” Murrell said.
“He’s a better horse on top of the ground but Sunday’s race has set him up nicely for his next start.”
Murrell then confirmed their first major target in Melbourne would be the $2.5 million Group 1 BMW Caulfield Cup (2400m) on October 25.
Pre-nomination Caulfield Cup betting markets are narrowly led by Donna Logan’s ATC Oaks winner Rising Romance ($13).
Singing is yet to be added to the markets, but could soon be if they continue their good lead-up form next start.
That next run is scheduled for July 27 at Munich in the Group 1 Dallmeyr Preis (2000m) where they’ll be dropping back down in distance but up in class.
Their last Group 1 effort was in France last year where they finished fourth, beaten three lengths by Flintshire in the Juddmonte Grand Prix De Paris also over the mile and a half.
Top Aussie hoop Craig Williams will fly in from Japan to take the mount on Singing, during his European stint riding for trainer Marco Botti, in the Group 1 where the horse’s Caulfield and Melbourne Cup claims will be confirmed.
“We kept Singing in Europe with the deliberate aim of running well and increasing his rating so he can qualify for the Caulfield and Melbourne Cups,” Murrell said.
“Certainly if he can win the Group 1 race then that will take care of that.”
The world’s richest handicap, the $6.2 million Group 1 Emirates Melbourne Cup (3200m) follows the Caulfield Cup on November 4 at Flemington.
Singing will head to Victoria in early October with Kris Lees, traveling to England in September before the galloper enters quarantine, to take over their preparation.
“Kris will go and look at the horse and get a feel for him before he goes into quarantine and we hope by then that Singing will be qualified for the two Cup races in Melbourne,” Murrell said.
It’s tactics Australian Bloodstock successfully employed with Lucas Cranach, fifth in the 2011 Caulfield Cup and third in that year’s Melbourne Cup, when trainer Lee Freedman went to Europe to work with the horse after they bought the German import.
“It worked well with Lucas Cranach and it will be good for Kris to go over early and start learning about him,” Murrell said.
“We’ll try and get him to the Caulfield Cup and see how he goes and he may progress to the Melbourne Cup.”
Melbourne Cup futures odds have Sydney Cup champ The Offer as the $13 favourite while Signing is listed as a $34 chance.
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