Ascot trainer Simon Miller is currently preparing his new stable acquisition Lopov for a run in the Group 2 Perth Cup at Ascot on New Year’s Eve.
The four-year-old gelding will be first-up in the Cup after a two month break following his last run at Flemington.
It will be the first time Lopov runs under the guidance of Miller, who obtained the horse from trainer Danny O’Brien in Melbourne.
The transfer came after the Savabeel gelding finished a disappointing ninth in The Lavazza Long Black Handicap last start.
Lopov had originally been targeted towards the $125,000 Sandown Cup on November 10, which Miller believes will greatly help his cause in the Perth Cup.
“He was going to run in the Sandown Cup over 3200m, so he is already rock-hard fit,” Miller said yesterday.
The trainer feels that Lopov will have no problem with tackling the 2,400 metres of the Perth Cup at his first-up start.
“I find when you travel horses interstate or change their environment they fly first-up,” he said.
“I’ve spoken to the owners and they have agreed to it.”
While Miller expects Lopov to be at his best over 2,400 metre, the horse has won over a variety of distances from 1,300 metres to 2,500 metres.
Lopov has experienced mixed success during his career, winning five of his 22 race starts and earning more than $150,000 in prize money.
The gelding has only previously raced in one other Group race when finishing 11th of 15 in the Group 2 Herbert Power Stakes at Caulfield in October behind Shewan.
Lopov was purchased by his original trainer for just $25,000 from the 2009 New Zealand Bloodstock Premier Yearling Sales.
The newest Ascot local, who is out of a Pins mare, proved he was built for endurance by successfully completing a 16-start preparation during the spring.