Like a kid with a new toy David Hayes couldn’t wait to rip open the packaging and see just what he’d received when Americain was unloaded off the float at his new home last week.
Hayes was the pick of the Victorian trainers to take charge of 2010 Melbourne Cup champion thanks largely to his sprawling base out of the city centre.
While obviously being careful not to do too much with the horse Hayes says he’s seen enough to become very excited about the future.
“He has a great nature and is doing very well,” Hayes said.
“He has been here four or five days and he is just having a very easy time familiarising himself with the property for a couple of weeks with no pressure.”
While this is the second time Americain has been to Australia until now he’s never been away from the Werribee Equine Centre except on race days.
“It is all a bit new to him but we are showing him how to go out in the paddock which he has never really done,” Hayes said.
“He is a sensible horse and I think he will adjust pretty well.”
As part of the Americain package comes Stephanie Nigge who will stay with the Hayes team as the horses personal supervisor for the duration of the autumn.
Nigge has been credited with a huge amount of praise for American’s success, especially from former trainer Alain Royer-Dupre.
The seven year old is due to be sent for Australian Cup at Flemington in March or potentially the Ranvet in Sydney, both over 2000m.
The Group 1 BMW is also on his agenda over 2400m later in the carnival.
Connections are hoping he’ll continue to thrive in Australia, a country where he boasts four wins from five starts including the 2010 Melbourne Cup.
This year’s Melbourne Cup was his only defeat however many consider his run the best of the race as he come from last on the turn to run home in fourth.