Round Table Racing Director Bruce Slade has confirmed that the 2014 Melbourne Cup is the major Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival goal for promising stayer Tres Blue.
Tres Blue made his Australian racing debut in last year’s Melbourne Cup (3200m) and the occasion clearly got to the Anabaa Blue entire and he played up in the mounting yard before being beaten by over 50 lengths in the Group 1 event.
The four-year-old was given a light campaign during the 2014 Sydney Autumn Racing Carnival, finishing 13th in the Group 1 George Ryder Stakes (1500m) and tenth in the Group 3 Japan Racing Association Plate (2000m), and Slade told Racing Ahead that Gai Waterhouse had been happy with both performances; with the leading Sydney trainer deliberately giving the imported stayer a short preparation to save him for a tilt at the Melbourne Cup during the 2014 Spring Racing Carnival.
“He is really well,” Slade said.
“Last year he was just a three-year-old and from a notoriously late maturing family and he has come a long way in the twelve months that we have had him now.
“He has put on between 30 and 40 kilos and he is really starting to look like a real man of a horse.
“He has form around the likes of Cirrus Des Aigles; there is not a horse that has been able to beat Cirrus Des Aigles this season and he was able to do that as a three-year-old last season.
“Hopefully we can see that kind of form reproduced in the spring.
“In the autumn we were actually very happy with him and he has come on a long way.
“Gai only gave him a very light preparation in the autumn, a bit like Fiorente, and everything he has done since his arrival has been targeted at the 2014 Melbourne Cup.”
Tres Blue is not expected to return to the races until August and Slade said that Waterhouse is yet to decide on the path that the Group 3 winner will follow during the spring.
Slade believes that Tres Blue is not guaranteed to earn a start in the Melbourne Cup and said that the weight allocated to the promising galloper by Racing Victoria Chief Handicapper Greg Carpenter will decide which races Tres Blue is set for in his upcoming preparation.
“The weights and things will decide whether we need to win races to get him into the Cup or whether we can just take him through a preparation that sort of culminates in the Melbourne Cup,” Slade said.
“He will be right on the brink of being guaranteed a start or not and the weights will make a big difference as to where we go with him.
“Gai is very keen to have the majority of his preparation in Melbourne.”
Tres Blue is currently available at 2014 Melbourne Cup odds of $34 with Ladbrokes Australia and is priced at $26 to take out the Group 1 Caulfield Cup (2400m).