Terry Henderson from OTI Racing has confirmed their French-trained raider Au Revoir would line-up in the 2014 Melbourne Cup field if the stallion gained a start in the world’s richest handicap.
On Saturday the Australian-owned son of Singspiel, a northern-hemisphere four-year-old, debuts down under in the $250,000 Group 2 Moonee Valley Gold Cup (2500m) on Cox Plate Day.
The Moonee Valley Race 5 form guide features a unique and powerful trainer-jockey combination then with Chantilly-based Andre Fabre engaging the services of ace Australian hoop Damien Oliver.
Au Revoir lines-up from barrier six in the 10-horse Moonee Valley Gold Cup field and is shooting for his first win since August last year, his record so far showing three wins from 13 starts.
“We feel he’s a good horse on the way up, and I expect him to run very, very well on Saturday,” Henderson told Racing Network on Thursday.
The showdown will be the horse’s first start outside of France and he was last seen running fourth behind Ruler Of The World in the Group 2 Prix Foy (2400m) at Longchamp on September 14, form Henderson tips to stand up in Australia.
“He was beaten that day by three Group 1 winners and the second horse went on to run second in the Arc, so the form-line is very strong,” he said.
He will also don blinkers to switch him on, having impressed connections with his work since arriving down under.
“Since he got here he has done really well and we’ve put a set of blinkers on him to keep him alert,” Henderson said.
The distance of the Moonee Valley Cup then should suit and Henderson along with fellow OTI owner Simon O’Donnell is hoping the horse can win and earn a penalty for another spring cup.
Au Revoir is nominated for the $6.2 million Group 1 Emirates Melbourne Cup (3200m) at Flemington on Tuesday November 4 and currently sits 31st on the order of entry with 53.5kg.
The Melbourne Cup field has a capacity 24 starters so even with a likely few non-acceptors higher above him in the ballot the French raider isn’t assured of a start.
“He’s right on the borderline right now,” Henderson said.
“We need a win on Saturday and a 1kg penalty and that would put him into the race.”
The French have a good recent Melbourne Cup winning record too with Americain (2010) and Dunaden (2011) going back-to-back in the ‘race that stops the nation’.
In the latest Melbourne Cup odds at Ladbrokes.com.au, led by Japanese-trained Caulfield Cup winner Admire Rakti ($4.80), Au Revoir pays $51.
That’s a price sure to firm should he win the Moonee Valley Gold Cup this weekend, Ladbrokes paying $5.50 for him to do so.
Moonee Valley Gold Cup odds are led by Chris Waller’s Sydney Cup – The Metropolitan runner-up Opinion ($3) while dual winner of the race Precedence is the $5 second pick and the only other horse shorter than Au Revoir.
Check out the full markets on all the Cox Plate Day races online now at Ladbrokes.com.au and take advantage of their Best Tote or SP + 20% markets on the Moonee Valley Gold Cup!