Orbec is yet to record a race win in Australia, but trainer John Thompson is confident that the imported stayer is ready to peak in the 2015 The Metropolitan at Royal Randwick on Saturday.
Orbec made his Australian racing debut with a second place finish behind Beyond Thankful in the Merrylands RSL Club Handicap (1800m) at Rosehill Gardens on August 15 and he finished a close third in the Listed Wyong Gold Cup (2080m) on September 4 before he was narrowly denied by Beyond Thankful again in the Group 3 Newcastle Gold Cup (2300m) on September 18.
Thompson has been happy with the form of Orbec since he arrived in Australia and he told Racing Ahead that there are a number of factors that will suit the Le Havre entire in The Metropolitan this weekend.
“He is a lovely stallion,” Thompson said.
“He has been running very consistent and with each run he has got a little bit fitter.
“I dare say that he is probably coming right for Saturday.
“He is coming back to his home track and he is a stallion that doesn’t travel really well, so running at his home track he will definitely benefit.
“The further the better.
“His form in France is over 3000 metres and the further he goes here the better he will get.
“We took him to Kembla Grange yesterday to give him an exhibition gallop between races just to really get him at a 110 percent.
“He is in good shape, he looks magnificent and it is his Grand Final on Saturday, so he will be ready to go.”
Tye Angland has ridden Orbec in all three of his previous race starts in Australia, but he was unable to get down to the 52 kilograms that the imported stayer was originally allocated by Racing New South Wales handicappers before the weights were raised by three and a half kilograms and Zac Purton has instead been booked to take the ride.
Thompson said that he was happy to be able to secure a jockey with the talent of Purton and he is confident that the leading hoop will have no trouble settling the northern hemisphere four-year-old in a positive position when he jumps from barrier four on Saturday.
“Tye obviously couldn’t do the 52, but the weights have gone up and it makes it even easier for Zac,” Thompson said.
“He is a good rider, he is world class as we all know.
“The horse is a pretty easy ride and it is great to have him on.”
Orbec is currently available at 2015 The Metropolitan odds of $12 with Ladbrokes and he is currently on the fifth line of betting behind Magic Hurricane ($4), Almoonqith ($6.50), Beaten Up ($7) and Chance To Dance ($8.50).