American import Kindergarden Kid is out to emulate the fellow Kevin and Colleen Bamford-owned Americain when the Robbie Laing-trained galloper targets the 2014 Melbourne Cup this spring.
The Bamfords were co-owners of the French-trained, American-bred stayer Americain who came out to Australia in the spring of 2010 and enjoyed a brilliant three length win over Maluckyday in the $6.2 million Group 1 Emirates Melbourne Cup (3200m).
The world’s richest handicap is now on the agenda for another of their projects with rising eight-year-old Kindergarden Kid heading towards the November 4th classic at Flemington.
Formerly prepared in the USA by a number of different trainers they’re a son of Dynaformer, who also sired Americain, and are now trained at Cranbourne by Laing who has ambitious Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival plans with the Grade 3 winner.
“The owners want him to win the Melbourne Cup but I don’t think he’s even qualified now so that’s the first aim,” Laing told Racing Victoria.
Only lightly raced for their age, Kindergarden Kid has been plagued by setbacks and so has been kept to just 16 starts to date.
Of those they have won three, most notably the Grade 3 Sycamore Stakes (2413m) back in October of 2012.
They stepped up to elite level at their next run but could only manage to finish five lengths away sixth behind Little Mike in that year’s Grade 1 Breeders’ Cup Turf (2413m) at Santa Anita.
A seven and a half month break followed for the galloper who returned with two lackluster runs in France.
They were outclassed in both including their last start eighth when defeated 14 lengths over the 3000m at Chantilly on June 24 last year when under the tutelage of Markus Nigge.
After suffering a tendon injury they were flown back to Australia after that and spent time recuperating at the Bamford’s Doreen property in Melbourne.
It’s now been over 12 months since then however and Laing is confident they’ve made a full recovery.
“Colleen had him in work three months before I got him and I’ve had him for ten weeks so he’s done a lot of work,” Laing said.
“He’s a big, powerful horse that stands around 17 hands and he really looked great when I gave him an exhibition gallop at Cranbourne recently.”
Laing is now hoping to rejuvenate the stayer’s career down under starting on Saturday.
Kindergarden Kid is set to debut in Australia at Caulfield this weekend racing in the $80,000 Sheen Group Handicap (1400m) going up against last star t Moonee Valley winner Pillar Of Creation.
They are equal 60kg top weight in the race with the Robert Smerdon-trained Under The Eiffel and jump from gate eight with Noel Callow to ride.
While happy with their progress since arriving in his stables, Laing won’t be disappointed if the horse doesn’t win on Saturday.
“He’ll get back and he’ll work home, as long as he pulls up alright we’re getting somewhere with him,” he said.
All going well Laing is looking at an early Group 1 target in Sydney with the $400,000 Group 1 The Metropolitan (2400m) at Royal Randwick on October 4 being considered.
“He might have to go to Sydney for a race like The Metropolitan,” Laing said.
“I’ll just bring him along gradually but he’s got great form at 2400m.”
While futures Melbourne Cup betting markets are already open at Ladbrokes.com.au ahead of the first nominations in early September, Kindergarden Kid is yet to be listed.
If they come out and catch the eye on Saturday however they’re sure to be in the mix so make sure you’re ready to get behind them, or your other early Cup selections, by signing up with Ladbrokes.com.au today!