Imported stayer Fiorente is set to have an opportunity to add another Group 1 victory to his racing resume after being included in the nominations for the 2014 Australian Cup.
Fiorente broke through for his maiden win at Group level with his memorable triumph in the Melbourne Cup (3200m) at the end of his 2013 Spring Racing Carnival campaign and trainer Gai Waterhouse has big things planned for the Monsun entire in the autumn.
The six-year-old is set to resume in the Group 1 Futurity Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield on February 22 before attempting to become the first horse since Makybe Diva in 2005 to win the Australian Cup (2000m) after winning the Melbourne Cup the previous spring.
Waterhouse could have a strong hand in the Australian Cup; with progressive gelding Ecuador, the in-form Laidback Larry and imported galloper Glencadam Gold also included in the nominations for the Group 1 event that will be held at Flemington on March 8.
The lightly-raced Ecuador progressed through the grades during the 2013 Spring Racing Carnival and received his first chance at Group 1 level when he finished sixth behind Boban in the Group 1 Epsom Handicap (1600m).
Waterhouse is hoping that Ecuador can develop into weight-for-age contender during the 2014 Autumn Racing Carnival and the High Chaparral gelding is expected to step-up to 2000 metres for the first time in the Australian Cup.
The Listed Mornington Cup (2400m) is the major autumn target for Laidback Larry, who has recorded four straight victories, but he remains a chance to contest the Australian Cup, while connections are hoping that Glencadam Gold can recapture his best form after failing to fire in the spring.
Chris Waller is another Sydney trainer that has included a number of classy gallopers in the 2014 Australian Cup nominations and he could have a number of chances to record his maiden win in the Group 1 event.
Foreteller finished seventh behind Super Cool in the 2013 edition of the Australian Cup, but has now stamped himself as a genuine Group 1 weight-for-age contender after recording wins in the Group 1 Ranvet Stakes (2000m) and the Group 1 Makybe Diva Stakes (1600m).
The Dansili gelding was sent to the spelling paddock after he failed to stay the distance in the Melbourne Cup and finished at the tail of the field in a barrier trial over 1044 metres at Royal Randwick on January 16.
Another Waller-trained stayer who is a chance of contesting the Australian Cup is Hawkspur, who finished a disappointing 20th in the Melbourne Cup at the end of his spring preparation.
Hawkspur won the Group 1 Queensland Derby (2400m) during the 2013 Brisbane Winter Racing Carnival and stamped himself as a Caulfield Cup contender with a dominant win in the Group 2 Chelmsford Stakes (1600m), but was hampered at the start of the race and could finish no better than seventh.
Imported French stayer Bayrir, the talented He’s Your Man and 2013 Brisbane Cup winner Moriarty are also a chance of representing Waller in the 2014 Australian Cup.
Super Cool won the 2013 Australian Cup as a three-year-old and a number of talented younger horses have been included in the nominations for the 2014 edition of the race.
The Anthony Cummings-trained duo of Drago and Thunder Fantasy, Victoria Derby winner Polanksi, Cox Plate winner Shamus Award and Darley colt San Diego will all have the opportunity to become the first horse in history to win the Australian Guineas and the Australian Cup in the same year.
Injury plagued Chase The Rainbow, Perth-based God Has Spoken, Queensland Oaks winner Gondokoro, progressive stayer Sertorius and imported Irish galloper Voleuse De Coeurs were also included in the nominations for the 2014 Australian Cup.