Trainer Darren Weir has revealed that the Group 3 Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2600m) at Flemington on Emirates Stakes Day is set to be the major 2015 Spring Racing Carnival goal for Tall Ship.
Tall Ship stamped himself as a stayer to watch when he took out the Stawell Cup (2000m) on April 5, the Terang Cup (2150m) on April 19 and the Listed Warrnambool Cup (2350m) on May 7 during his maiden racing campaign in Australia, but Weir is unsure whether the rising five-year-old is good enough to contest races like the Group 1 Caulfield Cup (2400m) on October 17 or the Group 1 Melbourne Cup (3200m) at Flemington on November 3 and has earmarked the Queen Elizabeth Stakes as the right race for the imported galloper.
“He’s had a good prep so far,” Weir told AAP.
“He spends most of his time at the beach which suits.
“We’re not aiming too high with him, something like the Queen Elizabeth.
“He’s in work at the right time if his form warrants aiming higher but we’re happy to be heading that way at this stage.”
Tall Ship made his racing debut under the care of Sir Michael Stoute in the United Kingdom back in 2013 and he made a slow start to his racing career before he finished second behind Truancy in the Deadman Confidential Handicap (2012m) at Epsom Downs on July 10.
He was transferred to the care of Gary Moore and he recorded his maiden race win in the Betfred Mobile Handicap (2213m) at Goodwood on August 1 and he made it two wins on the trot when he took out the Chichester Observer Handicap (2414m) on August 23 in his final race start in the United Kingdom.
The son of Sea The Stars made his Australian racing debut with an eighth place finish in the Mitavite Challenge Heat 5 (1400m) at Sandown on March 4 before he started his winning streak with an impressive victory in the Geelong Racing Club 150th Anniversary Handicap (1700m) at Geelong on March 22..
Weir is chasing his second win in the Queen Elizabeth Stakes after he took out the 2012 edition of the race with another imported stayer Puissance De Lune.
Tall Ship is currently available at 2015 Melbourne Cup odds of $41 with Ladbrokes, while Japanese stayer Fame Game ($13) is favourite from The BMW winner Hartnell ($17) and Murray Baker-trained Mongolian Khan ($17).