Melbourne Cup winning jockey Damien Oliver predicts that Fiorente will be the new weight for age star as he kicks off his Autumn Carnival campaign in the Group 2 $220,000 Carlton Draught Peter Young Stakes (1800m) at Caulfield on Saturday.
Oliver combined with the Gai Waterhouse’s import to win last year’s Group 1 $6m Emirates Melbourne Cup (3200m) at Flemington in November and he can’t see any reason why the six year old won’t dominate the Autumn weight for age races.
“It was probably a bit different in the spring. He was set for the Melbourne Cup,’’ Oliver told the Herald Sun.
“Now that that’s in the bag I think you’ll find he’s ideally suited at 2000 to 2400m.
“You’d think the 1800m first-up on Saturday would be perfect.’’
Oliver said that Fiorente felt great at the completion of is track work at Flemington on Tuesday morning and is giving him an excellent chance first up over 1800m in the weight for age Peter Young Stakes.
Fiorente has already won at weight for age for Waterhouse taking the Group 2 $300,000 Dato’ Tan Chin Nam Stakes (1600m) at Moonee Valley in the early part of the Spring Carnival.
And then the former English galloper put in a first class performance to run third to Shamus Award in the Group 1 $3m Sportingbet Cox Plate (2040m) at Moonee Valley as his final lead up to his Melbourne Cup victory.
“I wouldn’t say he’s come back better but he’s come back just as well as last spring and he carries a fair bit of residual fitness,’’ he said.
“He proved last spring that he wouldn’t have to improve much to be a (WFA) force. He was huge in the Cox Plate (when third) from a wide gate and ran enormous before that in the Turnbull.
“Without saying he’s going to be super dominant I’d say he’s the horse to beat in the big races this autumn.’’
After Saturday Fiorente will contest the Group 1 $1m Darley Australian Cup (2000m) at Flemington in a fortnight before heading back to Sydney for the rich revamped The BMW Sydney Carnival incorporating ‘The Championships’.
The Group 1 $1.5m The BMW (2400m) at Rosehill on April 5 and the Group 1 $4m Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2000m) at Randwick on April 19, the second day of ‘The Championships’, are the main weight for age Sydney Autumn Carnival targets for Fiorente.
Ladbrokes.com.au have installed Fiorente the $2.30 favourite for his 2014 Autumn Carnival debut in the Peter Young Stakes ahead of Pakal and Star Rolling both at $5.50 and the Chris Waller trained Foreteller at $6.