Jiayuguan has been backed into 2015 Christmas Cup odds of $3.20 and trainer John Thompson admits that he will be disappointed if she does not win the Listed event at Royal Randwick tomorrow.
Jiayuguan made her Australian racing debut in February after starting her racing career in France and she made a slow start in her new environment, but she has thrived in recent months.
The Teofilo mare started her spring preparation with flat efforts in the St Johns Park Bowling Club Handicap (1400m) at Rosehill Gardens on August 15, the Star La Gioconda Handicap (1600m) at Wyong on August 30 and the Hyland Race Colours Handicap (1900m) at Canterbury on September 16, but she was able to record a maiden Australian race win in in the Tatama Handicap (2400m) at Kembla Grange on September 29.
Jiayuguan was far from disgraced when sixth behind Ruling Dynasty in the Listed City Tattersalls Club Cup (2400m) at Royal Randwick on October 17 and she returned to winning form with back-to-back victories in the Girvan Waugh Construction Handicap (2400m) at the same venue on Melbourne Cup Day and the Kiwi Handicap (2400m) at Rosehill Gardens on November 21.
Thompson told Racing Ahead that Jiayuguan has thrived since being given the opportunity over genuine staying trips and he is confident that the imported mare can record her maiden black-type victory in the 2015 Christmas Cup this weekend.
“She is a lovely mare and she has really excelled once we got her out over the staying distances,” Thompson said.
“Even the 2000 stepping to the 2400 she revelled at it and she is a very nice staying mare going forward.
“If she doesn’t get black type this Saturday I am very confident that she will down the track because she will only keep improving.
“It has taken her six months to adjust to being in this country, but she is really in a purple patch of form.
“She is really thriving and doing well.
“She will run very well and I will be disappointed if she runs poorly.
“Mares when they are in form they seem to hold it and she has given no indication that she has gone off or anything.”
Jiayuguan is currently available at 2015 Christmas Cup odds of $3.20 with Ladbrokes and she is a clear favourite from Sir John Hawkwood ($4.20), Quick Strike ($6), Lucky Lucky Lucky ($8) and Bring Luck ($11).