Singing To the Tune of 2016 Caulfield Cup

Connections of lightly-raced French import Singing are hoping patience pays off with the stallion to debut down under on Saturday in Sydney ahead of a Caulfield Cup 2016 campaign this spring in Melbourne.

Kris Lees

Trainer Kris Lees will prepare French import Singing for a 2016 Caulfield Cup bid in Melbourne this spring. Photo: Daniel Costello.

Australian Bloodstock had plans to race the son of Singspiel in Australia two years ago in the ‘race that stops a nation’ alongside their eventual Melbourne Cup winner Protectionist in 2014.

Singing however didn’t make the same natural progression into the world’s richest handicap after suffering a tendon injury and the now six-year-old has been kept to just 15 career starts due to a number of setbacks.

He has won four of his starts in Europe, the latest in June last year, but the Group 2 placegetter and Group 1 performer hasn’t raced since August of 2015 when fifth in elite level company in the Grosser Preis (2400m).

Transferred to Newcastle stables of Kris Lees, Singing is finally ready to race first-up for the season and is a dual nominee for the weekend.

Australian Bloodstock’s Jamie Lovett however confirmed the horse would not be lining-up in Brisbane’s Listed Tattersall’s Mile (1600m) at Doomben.

Instead he will stay in Sydney and face easier company at Canterbury Park in an $85,000 Benchmark 93 over 1900m.

That will hopefully kick-off a spring campaign that includes a shot at two mile and a half features with owners looking at $750,000 Group 1 The Metropolitan (2400m) at Royal Randwick on October 1 and the $3 million Group 1 Caulfield Cup (2400m) in Victoria a fortnight later.

“If he is fit and well, he would not be out of place in any Group 1 race in Australia,” Lovett told The Courier Mail this week.

“I thought he was a genuine Caulfield Cup horse when we purchased him.

“Then he had all sorts of problems overseas and we have had to be incredibly patient with him.

“He has now been in training for six months or so, having a very long and slow European style preparation.

“He has been off the scene so long that obviously he has to win some races and get his rating up to get into a race like the Caulfield Cup.”

Another possible option is the new-look $1 million Group 1 Emirates Stakes (2000m), formerly the Mackinnon Stakes, which takes place on the first Saturday in November at Flemington Racecourse.

“If he doesn’t get into that sort of race [the Caulfield Cup], something like the Mackinnon Stakes could be on the cards for him,” Lovett added.

“We will take it day by day with him but it is fair to say that I certainly have a very good opinion of him.”

Lees is yet to saddle-up a Caulfield Cup winner and Singing is yet to be added to the all-in markets at for the classic that are led by Chris Waller’s reigning Cox Plate champ Winx.

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