Trainer Gai Waterhouse has revealed that Melbourne Cup winner Fiorente will begin his autumn campaign in the Group 2 Peter Young Stakes (1800m) at Caulfield on February 22.
The Group 1 Futurity Stakes (1400m) on the same day was originally on the agenda for Fiorente, but Waterhouse has elected to set him for the softer option of the Peter Young Stakes, which she believes will be a better lead-up race to the Group 1 Australian Cup (2000m) at Flemington on March 8.
“I think that we will go to the Peter Young,” Waterhouse told Sky Racing HQ this morning.
“The reason being is that his main goal is the Australian Cup there and going over the 1800 metres he goes into his rhythm and he won’t knock himself about like he would in the short and sharp Futurity.
“The Peter Young is winnable and a slightly softer option going into the Australian Cup.”
Fiorente made his first public appearance since his memorable Melbourne Cup victory in an exhibition gallop alongside Carlton House at Royal Randwick on January 18 and he took part in a barrier trial over 1300 metres at Royal Randwick on January 31; working home fairly to finish second behind stablemate Glencadam Gold.
Waterhouse has been impressed with the condition of the Monsun entire and said that he has settled at his stable in Melbourne nicely after arriving at the start of the week.
“He went straight to the box that he won the Melbourne Cup from and he settled in like a pig in mud,” Waterhouse said.
“He thinks he is king of the kids in the yard and I just let him shoot the breeze this week.
“I will do some work with his next week.”
Fiorente will be having his first proper autumn campaign in Australia, after having just one race start in the Group 1 All Aged Stakes (1400m) during the 2013 Sydney Autumn Racing Carnival, and Waterhouse believes that the five-year-old is a stronger horse than ever ahead of his return to racing.
“He is settling further back than he was in his races before and he is stronger and has built up more,” Waterhouse said.
“He is a cool dude and he is looking to rock and roll.”
Waterhouse is chasing her second win in the Peter Young Stakes after winning the 2009 edition of the race with Theseo.