Trainer Gai Waterhouse has revealed that 2013 Melbourne Cup winner Fiorente will contest a barrier trial at Royal Randwick next Thursday.
Fiorente was sent straight to the spelling paddock after his impressive win over Red Cadeaux and Mount Athos in the Group 1 Melbourne Cup (3200m), but has been back in work for a number of weeks as he begins preparations for the 2014 Melbourne Festival Of Racing.
The Monsun gelding was originally expected to being his autumn campaign in the Group 1 Orr Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield on February 8 but he is now expected to return to the races in the Group 1 Futurity Stakes (1400m) at the same venue on February 22.
The imported stayer will remain in Melbourne to contest the Group 1 Australian Cup (2000m) at Flemington on March 8 before returning to Sydney for a tilt at the $4 million Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2000m), where he is expected to meet the likes of five-time Group 1 winner It’s A Dundeel, champion filly Guelph and Emirates Stakes winner Boban.
Fiorente was given two barrier trial starts at Royal Randwick over 1400 metres before the start of this 2013 Spring Racing Carnival, winning in impressive fashion on July 19 before finishing second behind stablemate Carlton House on August 2, and ran home well to finish sixth first-up in the Group 1 Memsie Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield on August 31.
The impressive entire recorded his maiden race win in Australia with a fast-finishing effort in the Group 2 Dato’ Tan Chin Nam Stakes (1600m) at Moonee Valley on September 14 and produced another strong effort when fourth in the Group 1 Turnbull Stakes (2000m) at Flemington on October 5.
Fiorente produced a strong on-pace effort when finishing third behind Shamus Award and Happy Trails in the Group 1 Cox Plate (2040m) at Moonee Valley on October 26 before his memorable victory in ‘the race that stops a nation’ at Flemington on November 5.
The Futurity Stakes is an unusual starting point for a Melbourne Cup winner and Fiorente will be the first horse to contest the Futurity Stakes the autumn after winning the Melbourne Cup since Doriemus finished twelfth behind Star Dancer in the 1996 edition of the race.