An eye catching trial by Fiorente at Randwick this morning has the 2013 Melbourne Cup winner one step closer to a return to the racetrack for the Autumn Carnival.
Fiorente made up plenty of the ground from back in the seven horse field to finish one length second to stablemate and Group 1 winner Glencadam Gold in the 1300m trial.
Trainer Gai Waterhouse will today map out a Autumn Carnival program for the English import who won last year’s Group 1 $6m Emirates Melbourne Cup (3200m) at Flemington, giving Waterhouse her first success in Australia’s most famous race.
Waterhouse is likely to kick off Fiorente’s campaign in Melbourne before heading back to Sydney to compete in the newly revamped Autumn Carnival which incorporates ‘The Championships’, a reshuffled two day carnival at Randwick on April 12 and April 19 featuring four Group 1 races on both days with a total of $18m in prizemoney on offer.
The Group 1 $500,000 Cathay Pacific Futurity Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield on February 22 looks the likely starting point followed by a start in the Group 1 $1m Darley Australian Cup (2000m) at Flemington on March 8.
Waterhouse is then likely to turn her attention back to Sydney with the Group 1 $4m Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2000m) at Randwick on the second day of ‘The Championships’ as Fiorente’s Autumn Carnival grand final.
The other three Group 1 features on the second day are the $1m Schweppes Sydney Cup (3200m), the $1m Australian Oaks (2400m) and the $1m Queen Of The Turf Stakes (1600m).
While the first day of the two day carnival will see the running of the four Group 1 races, the $2m BMW Australian Derby (2400m), the $3m The Star Doncaster Mile (1600m), $2.5m Darley T J Smith Stakes (1200m) and the $1m Inglis Sires’ Produce Stakes (1400m).
Fiorente is currently the $7.50 second favourrte for the Queen Elizabeth Stakes with New Zealand’s multiple Group 1 winner It’s A Dundeel at the top of the betting at $4.50.
Chris Waller’s new stable star Boban is next in the market order at $9 just in front of last year’s Thousand Guineas winner Guelph at $10.