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Sam Kavanagh’s promising English import Tales Of Grimm will continue his autumn bid in his second run down under on Saturday at Rosehill Gardens looking to earn a shot a fairytale win in the 2015 Doncaster Mile this April.
The Distorted Humor six-year-old has won three of his 17 starts to date but it has been a long while between drinks with his last victory being first-up in September of 2013 over 1810m at Newbury in Britain.
After nearly eight months away from racing the former Richard Faher-trained galloper debuted down under on February 7 for his new trainer Kavanagh in a Benchmark 87 over 1200m at Rosehill with Kerrin McEvoy in the saddle.
He missed the kick that day by two lengths and was trailing seven lengths off the leader going into the turn.
He made up plenty of ground then weaving a passage through the field and once he got into the clear with 200m left to go he charged over the top of them to win by a neck defeating Tahitian Black in a fine effort.
That’s a performance Kavanagh is now hoping the horse can repeat on Saturday when he returns to the track for a shot at a Benchmark 85 over either 1350m or 1500m.
The shorter race received 18 nominations yesterday – Tales Of Grimm allocated the hefty equal top weight of 61.5kg along with the Chris Waller-trained Delectation.
Three-year-old Shamardal gelding Delectation was runner-up to stablemate Brazen Bean, who resumes in the Group 1 Black Caviar Lightning Stakes (1200m) at Flemington on Saturday, in the Group 1 Coolmore Stud Stakes (1200m) during the spring.
He then returned last weekend to run a close second to Scissor Kick in the Group 3 Eskimo Prince Stakes (1200m) and has also been nominated for the Group 2 Hobartville Stakes (1400m) at Rosehill on Saturday as well as the Group 3 CS Hayes Stakes (1400m) at Flemington this weekend.
The other possible target on the weekend for Tales Of Grimm over 1500m then received 21 nominees, Kavanagh’s hope again the 61.5kg top weight trailed by the Gai Waterhouse-trained Laidback Larry (61kg).
“I’m not completely settled on what to do but at the moment, the 1350 metre race is my race of choice,” Kavanagh told Racenet.
“The 1500 metre race looks a softer option based on the noms but it’s about getting the horse to the Ajax in two weeks’ time with the best lead-up and I think that is via the 1350 metre race.”
The $175,000 Group 2 Ajax Stakes (1500m) actually runs back at Rosehill on Coolmore Stud Classic Day, March 14.
Kavanagh is hoping Takes Of Grimm lives up to the high expectations the stable have for him this Sydney Autumn Racing Carnival and gets to Group 1 level.
He’s been nominated for two elite levels this season including the $1 million Group 1 Australian Cup (2000m) at Flemington on ‘Super Saturday’, March 14.
Futures Australian Cup odds at Ladbrokes.com.au are led on $4 by the Kris Lees-trained German import Protectionist, winner of the iconic Melbourne Cup during the spring.
Tales Of Grimm is a $41 chance in the all-in markets.
His major autumn aim however is a return to Sydney for The Championships and the $3 million Group 1 Doncaster Mile (1600m) at Royal Randwick on April 4, a race he’ll be exempt from ballot in if he wins the Ajax Stakes in the lead-up.
“He has to run well on Saturday to justify going to the Ajax but all indications at home are he’s come out of his first-up run very well,” Kavanagh said.
“I reckon he’s improved a bit from the first-up run and his work this morning was excellent. He galloped over 1200 metres solo and finished off the last 400 metres in 24.31 seconds.
“There is a long way to go and a lot of things to fall into place before he makes a Doncaster field but if we can win a qualifier to get into the race on the minimum we’d certainly roll the dice.”
Current Doncaster Mile odds have Japan’s World Ace ($8) and the Peter & Paul Snowden-trained Shooting To Win ($9) as the ones to beat, with Tales Of Grimm at $34.
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