The Australian Cup is a possible big autumn aim for the OTI-owned import Au Revoir with the former French galloper to join the stables of top Melbourne trainer Peter Moody.
Previously prepared in France by Andre Fabre, the Singspiel stallion stayed on in Australia following his three-run Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival campaign this season.
Group 1 performed once before arriving down under when fifth to Flintshire in the Juddmonte Grand Prix de Paris (2400m) in July last year, the five-year-old debuted in Oz with a close third when run over late by Prince Of Penzance (1st) and Le Roi (2nd) in the Group 2 Moonee Valley Cup (2500m) on October 25.
From that Cox Plate Day run he backed up 10 days later at Flemington in ‘The Race That Stops A Nation’, the $6.2 million Group 1 Emirates Melbourne Cup (3200m) on the first Tuesday of November, but could only manage to finish 11 lengths away eighth behind runaway German raider Protectionist.
In his third and most recent run, and his final for Fabre, Au Revoir broke through for a win at Sandown-Hillside in the Group 2 Zipping Classic (2400m) in a tough win on November 15 with Kerrin McEvoy in the saddle.
Set to join Moody in mid-January, the stayer is scheduled to run first-up in his second campaign on Aussie turf in the $150,000 Group 3 Carlyon Cup (1600m) on CF Orr Stakes Day at Caulfield Racecourse on February 14.
How he performs in his early races will determine the level he is taken to in the autumn then, with connections hoping he can be competitive in the $1 million Group 1 Australian Cup (2000m) at Flemington on March 14.
OTI are following the same path laid by their best-performing import, Manighar who won the Carlyon Cup in his first run for Moody back in 2012.
“He’ll be back at Pete Moody’s (Caulfield) stable in two weeks and then he will be prepared probably under a similar campaign that Manighar went through,” OTI’s Terry Henderson told RSN’s Racing Ahead this week.
Manighar was previously with Alain de Royer Dupre and then Luca Cumani who bought the galloper to Australia in 2010 for a Caulfield Cup fifth, Melbourne Cup seventh and Sandown Classic third four years ago.
He returned in 2011 running an improved fourth, fifth and second in the same trio of spring features before joining Moody in the autumn of 2012.
The Linamix gelding proved a revelation for Moody and OTI that preparation winning a rare Group 1 hat-trick with victories in the Australian Cup, Ranvet Stakes and The BMW before a Queen Elizabeth Stakes second at Randwick and a third in the Doomben Cup in Brisbane.
His form slowly tapered off however and he was sent to the USA earlier this year.
Still his form when he was at his peak was outstanding and something the owners are hoping to see again in Au Revoir.