Local trainer Aaron Purcell has both Haylaman and St Jean in the 2014 Warrnambool Cup this afternoon and is happy with the condition of both his charges heading into the Listed event this afternoon.
Haylaman was purchased by Purcell from Europe to be a Warrnambool Cup contender and the Diamond Green gelding has impressed in three race starts since arriving in Australia; finishing third in The Standard Handicap (1700m) at Warrnambool on March 17 before winning at Cranbourne on March 28 and finishing second behind Gottino in the Terang Cup (2150m) on April 13.
Purcell told Racing Ahead this morning that Haylaman took plenty of benefit out of his run in the Terang Cup and believes that he is a genuine winning chance in the 2014 Warrnambool Cup this afternoon.
“It is a race that we have been aiming at with Haylaman from the start,” Purcell said.
“I bought him about six months ago with this race in mind and everything that he has done this preparation has been geared around trying to have him right for today.
“He was probably was not 100 percent fit at Terang and he probably hit the front a bit too soon and just got rolled late.
“He has definitely come on from the run and the extra furlong today shouldn’t be a problem, so I expect him to be thereabouts.”
St Jean has also had three race starts since arriving in Australia and produced an impressive performance when second behind Tolleybuc Kid in the Mistable Handicap (2000m) at Caulfield on April 21.
Purcell believes that the son of Teofilo has the natural ability to compete at the highest level of racing, but is unsure whether he has enough racing experience to win a tough race like the Warrnambool Cup.
“Caulfield last start, with the rail out a long way, we didn’t want the race to be a sit and sprint so we decided to get going early and the tactics almost paid off – he just got run down late,” Purcell said.
“With the extra 350 today we probably don’t need to be as aggressive, it will be a bit more of a staying fest, and a good strong run last time should have brought him on for today.
“He is a good doing type of horse and the run last start didn’t knock him around.
“I think that St. Jean is a horse that will end up in a higher ground to Haylaman, but Haylaman is a little bit more seasoned and a little bit more reliable.”
St Jean is available at 2014 Warrnambool Cup odds of $7.50, while Haylaman is currently on offer at a quote of $16.