Italian import Goldstream will make his Australian racing debut when he lines up in the Group 1 $600,000 Schweppes All Aged Stakes (1400m) at Randwick on Saturday.
Goldstream has raced seven times for five races in Rome, with his best victory being in the 2015 Group 2 Derby Italiano 10Elotto (2213m).
Newcastle trainer Kris Lees had Goldstream ready to go to the races a month ago but scratched the four year old when he drew a wide barrier in the Group 3 $125,000 Newcastle Newmarket Handicap (1350m).
The Newmarket Handicap was eventually transferred from the Beaumont track on the Wednesday after being washed out to Rosehill the following Saturday, but Goldstream remained a scratching.
“I was going to run him in the Newcastle Newmarket but he drew the outside barrier on the inside track,” Lees told Racenet.
“I scratched him the day before the race then they were called off and because of a rule, he couldn’t be added back into the field when they moved the race to Rosehill.
“Then there wasn’t another race I deemed suitable to kick him off in so he’s been ready to go for a few weeks and I’ve been really happy with how he’s progressed in the last few weeks so we decided to have a crack at the All Aged and see what happens.”
Lees is uncertain how Goldstream will handle the 1400m of the All Aged Stakes first up but is confident he will take plenty of benefit from the run.
“1400 metres? I’m not sure, but he’s really come on in the last month,” Lees said.
“Saturday will give us a guide looking to the future.”
“He acclimatising really well but I’m mindful that being from the Northern Hemisphere he’s only just turned four so he’s giving away six months in age against the other four-year-old in the race Malaguerra and they’ve got the same weight.”
“He still looks a bit of a baby and I think he’ll be a different horse in the spring. There’s still a bit of growing to come I’d say.”
Goldstream is likely to have a limited Autumn and Winter campaign which could include a trip to Queensland to run in the Group 2 $358,000 A.D. Hollindale Stakes (1800m) at the Gold Coast on May 7 with the Group 1 $650,000 The Bundaberg Rum Doomben Cup (2000m) at Doomben on May 21 a remote possibility before preparing for a Spring Carnival campaign.
Lees’ other options for the import are the Group 3 $200,000 Hawkesbury Gold Cup (1600m) at Hawkesbury April 30 and the Listed $200,000 Emirates Park Scone Cup (1600m) at Scone a fortnight later.
“He may have one or two runs then put him away for the spring. That’s my first thought,” Lees said.
“I’m looking at races like the Hawkesbury Cup, maybe the Scone Cup or maybe the Hollindale.
“Obviously the Doomben Cup is after the Hollindale but I’m mindful with these foreigners not to go too far in their first prep.
“I’ve done it before and they’ve done really well but I don’t know that I got the same the next prep and I do think this horse will be a better horse next time through.
“I think this horse has a lot of improvement in him both physically and race wise.”
Lees has given Goldstream two barrier trials on the Beaumont track at Newcastle for two seconds on March 1 and March 29 in preparation for his Australian debut.
Brenton Avdulla takes the ride and Goldstream, rated a $13 chance at Ladbrokes.com.au, will jump from barrier five in the eight horse All Aged Stakes field.
Early market order for the All Aged Stakes at Ladbrokes.com.au: $3.50 Press Statement, $4.40 English, Malaguerra, $5 Black Heart Bart, $7 Kermadec, $13 Goldstream, $21 Rebel Dane, $31 Perignon.