The Team Snowden trained Calanda will carry the...
The 2017 Melbourne Cup is the long-term spring target for OTI Racing import Gallic Chieftain after his spirited win in Rosehill’s Winter Cup on Saturday.
The imported French galloper has been racing down under with Victoria’s leading horseman Darren Weir since October last year and on Saturday broke through for his maiden stakes success.
A four-year-old Tamayuz stallion, Gallic Chieftain came into the $125,000 Listed ATC Winter Cup (2400m) on the back of a 2040m Moonee Valley win from June 3.
He enjoyed a drop down in weight to 53.5kg for the black-type Civic Stakes Day assignment and had the love of the punters jumping the $2.15 favourite.
Having his maiden start at the mile and a half, the progressive stayer needed every part of the race to run down the Chris Waller-trained runner-up Montauk, while Joe Pride’s 61kg top weight Destiny’s Kiss finished a gutsy third.
Post-race comments from winning hoop Dean Yendall suggested that the further Gallic Chieftain got the better he would be, positive news for connections who are eyeing a run in the world’s richest handicap on the first Tuesday of November.
“He took a power of riding today. I galloped him on Wednesday morning and he galloped up really nicely at Warrnambool so I was pretty happy to be coming up here. If he ran like he worked he would have brained them but he wanted to do a bit wrong,” Yendall told Racing NSW on Saturday.
“He hasn’t had a heap of racing so he is a pretty exciting horse.
“He has a few spins in Australia now but he has got those things between his legs.
“I know he has had nearly a dozen starts now but over his ears he is such a thinker. He does too much wrong and wants to play with his rivals when he gets besides them.”
Weir’s stable representative Jarrod McLean confirmed the $6.2 million Group 1 Emirates Melbourne Cup (3200m) on November 7 was the obvious major spring aim for the stallion should he keep progressing through the ranks.
“No doubt OTI have got a race in November picked out for him but we’ve got a long way to go between now and then. He is a progressive horse and there is plenty of upside to him,” he said.
“We’ll aim high and see how far he gets but he is certainly well credentialed and a very sound horse. Weiry will have something picked out for the spring and he is a horse worth following.
“There is still more improvement to come, and he needs to, but he is on the right track.”
Weir is no stranger to scoring a shock Melbourne Cup success having won the two mile classic in 2015 with $101 outsider Prince Of Penzance.
To check out the latest all-in Melbourne Cup odds before nominations for close on August 29, head to Ladbrokes.com.au today.
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