Trainer Darren Weir has confirmed Tall Ship will be included in nominations for both the Caulfield Cup (2400m) and Melbourne Cup (3200m) this spring, but believes the Group 3 Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2600m) on November 7th figures as a more realistic goal for the talented import.
Tall Ship began his racing career under the guidance of leading British trainer Sir Michael Stoute in 2013; transferring to the care of Gary Moore for two starts during the late stages of 2014 before arriving at Weir’s Wangoom stables prior to the beginning of 2015.
Having starred on the Victorian country circuit in his first campaign for Weir through autumn, the trainer is thrilled with the condition of the classy son of Sea The Stars and is confident he figures as a realistic prospect of success in a race like the 2015 Queen Elizabeth Stakes.
“He’s had a good prep so far,” Weir told AAP.
“He spends most of his time at the beach which suits.
“We’re not aiming too high with him, something like the Queen Elizabeth.
“He’s in work at the right time if his form warrants aiming higher but we’re happy to be heading that way at this stage.”
Posting six wins and a minor through only 12 competitive starts so far, the lightly-raced four-year-old stamped his claims as one to watch from his first competitive appearance on course in 2013 but undoubtedly found peak condition for the first time in 2014, highlighted by a close run for second amongst notably company in the Deadman Confidential Handicap (2012m) at Epsom Downs in July.
Winning each of his two starts for Moore through August, the gelding out of Magical Romance clearly needed the run when eighth in the Mitavite Challenge Heat BM78 (1400m) in his first Australian appearance on March 4th but responded in impeccable fashion; taking out his next four starts including each of the Stawell Cup (2000m), Terang Cup (2150m) and Listed Warrnambool Cup (2350m).
Tall Ship remains in betting markets for the 2015 Melbourne Cup with leading online bookie Ladbrokes.com.au and can be taken at a particularly generous quote of $41 for success.