Trainer Matt Cumani has unveiled a bold Autumn Carnival path for talented import Grey Lion, which will may peak with an appearance in the Group 1 The BMW (2400m) at Rosehill Gardens on March 25th.
Grey Lion arrived at Cumani’s Ballarat stables partway through the 2016 Spring Carnival with a view towards contesting the Melbourne Cup and while debuting for a strong second behind Qewy in the Group 3 Geelong Cup (2400m) first-up, simply failed to get the trip on the first Tuesday of November and finished the headline race fourteenth.
Conceding that the horse was not at his best over two miles, Cumani told Racing Victoria that the Galileo entire is likely-to-be set for a second-up appearance in the Group 1 Australian Cup (2000m) before progression to The BMW 2017.
“We’re on a bit of a tight schedule with him,” Cumani said.
“He needed a little bit of work done on his foot. He’s absolutely fine, but it just meant to have a slightly longer spell than intended.
“He gets nominated today for the Australian Cup. That might be a good, ideally, second-up run, but we’ll have to see if we can get him ready in time to have a prep run.
“I think working up to a finale for him; an ambitious target is The BMW might be a race for him.
“We’ll be avoiding 3200m races. As he showed in the Melbourne Cup, he ran well but didn’t stay, so 2000-2400m is his go this time around.”
Formerly trained by prominent French horseman Andre Fabre, Grey Lion displayed a notable disdain for racing on soft ground in Europe, but Cumani said that he will take that form into little consideration during the Autumn Carnival.
“We’ll probably try and avoid it, but if it comes up soft for one of his races, we’ll give him a go on it because I’d like to experience that first-hand before I believe anything that comes out of his previous career in France,” he said.
Grey Lion has finished outside the first three only a handful of times through thirteen career starts; posting four wins and as many minors to date.