Gai Waterhouse is delighted with the condition of Fiorente and is confident that the imported stayer can give her a maiden victory in the 2014 Australian Cup at Flemington this weekend.
The Australian Cup is one of the only major races on the Australian racing calendar that Waterhouse has failed to win; with the leading trainer narrowly denied victory with Theseo (second in 2009), Winning Belle (second in 2005) and Juggler (third in 1997).
Fiorente returned to the races, for the first time since his memorable Melbourne Cup victory, with a impressive victory in the Group 2 Peter Young Stakes (1800m) at Caulfield on February 22 and Waterhouse told TVN that she believes the son of Monsun will record his third straight race win on Saturday.
“It is very exciting and it is a great field up against Fiorente,” Waterhouse said.
“There is terrific speed with Shamus Award, who won unbelievably and just toyed with them the other day.
“My bloke has done a treat, an absolute treat.
“He is bigger than the other horses, he is stronger than the other horses and I think that he is better than the other horses.
“He has an immense strength of spirit and physical strength.
“The two of them make him very hard to beat in anything that he runs in, 2000 metres plus, in Australia.”
Waterhouse said that Fiorente has done well since his fast-finishing win in the Peter Young Stakes, but admits that she had the six-year-old fairly forward for the Group 2 event and warned that there may not be as much improvement in the entire as a number of people in the racing community have predicted.
“I don’t think there is as much as you all think,” Waterhouse said.
“He is a bigger horse now; he has a big bigger girth, a bigger rump and is lovely and thick through the neck and shoulder.
“I had him very forward for Caulfield and he has done well since, but it is not like it is chalk and cheese.
“He has been on a very steady line for a long time.
“He is ready to go.”
Fiorente ($2.20) is currently a clear favourite in 2014 Australian Cup betting markets from Cox Plate winner Shamus Award ($4), Australian Guineas placegetter Thunder Fantasy ($8.50) and two-time Group 1 winner Foreteller ($10).