The 2013 Melbourne Cup plans for OTI Racing-owned Only A Pleasure have been put on hold after he finished at the tail of the field in the Group 2 Prix Kergorlay (3000m) at Deauville in France on Sunday.
OTI Racing were hoping that Only A Pleasure would follow the path of Americain – who won the Prix Kergorlay before coming to Australia to win the Melbourne Cup (3200m) in 2010 – but the spring carnival plans for the son of Montjeu will now be reassessed after the disappointing performance.
OTI co-founder Terry Henderson told Radio Sports National this morning that he was unable to explain why the four-year-old ran so poorly.
“He didn’t pull up with any issue that we can put our finger on,” Henderson said on RSN this morning.
“We knew that he would benefit from the run but twenty lengths is a long way, especially when the winner beat us by only three quarters of a length last time we raced.
“He is a very lazy horse and he just might need to be woken up a little but it was a very disappointing run.
“We will have a chat to Andre tomorrow about it and try to work out what the issue was today.”
Only A Pleasure was expected to arrive in Melbourne with the first group of European-based horses on September 28 and Henderson said this will still the case but the four-year-old may be transferred from the stable of Andre Fabre into the care of an Australian trainer earlier than was anticipated.
“The plan with this horse was always to come to Melbourne and stay in Melbourne,” Henderson said.
“He will come across and the real question is whether Andre brings him across or whether we transfer him straight to an Australian trainer.
“As it stands at the moment he wouldn’t get into the Cup.
“He may even have another race over here if Andre thinks today was too bad to be true but he will come across and look at something like the Herbert Power.”
While the Melbourne Cup hopes of Only A Pleasure were dented in the Prix Kergorlay, the winner Verema may have earned himself a spot on the plane to Australia.
Verema, owned by Aga Khan and trained by Melbourne Cup winner Alain De Royer-Dupre, stayed on well to finish the race with a late burst of speed and Racing Manager for Aga Khan Georges Rimaud said in a post-race interview that a tilt at the Melbourne Cup was a definite possibility.
“She has the potential to be a Group One filly and she may race abroad in the future,” Rimaud told the media.
“We wanted to see how she performed today but Australia is possible and she is progressing with every run.”
Alain De Royer-Dupre prepared Americain to win the Melbourne Cup in 2010 and won the Group 2 Herbert Power Stakes (2400m) with Shahwardi last year.