Trainer John Thompson is confident that Auvray has the class to contest the 2015 Melbourne Cup, but he admits that maturity could be an issue for the imported stayer during his spring campaign.
Auvray was purchased by the China Horse Club and sent to Australia after he took out both the Prix De Lutece (3000m) and the Group 2 Qatar Prix Chaudenay (3000m) in France at the end of last year.
Thompson believes that Auvray has plenty of talent and he confirmed that the Le Havre entire would be included in the nominations for both the Group 1 Caulfield Cup (2400m) and the Group 1 Melbourne Cup (3200m), but he is unsure whether the Northern Hemisphere three-year-old will actually make it to either race.
“He is a two mile horse of the top quality echelon,” Thompson said.
“He is a lovely horse and he won a Group 2 on Arc Day last year over 3000 metres.
“He has been targeted at the Cup and he has good ability.
“It may be a season away and if he doesn’t curb his way this prep he will be gelded, but he is Caulfield and Melbourne Cup class and he just needs to mature up a bit in the head.
“He is coming from the Northern Hemisphere down here and he is still technically a three-year-old, but he has to take on the older horses.
“He is a very nice horse going forward.”
Auvray made his first public appearance in Australia when he was entered in a barrier trial at Royal Randwick on July 20, but he was pulled out of the trial after playing up in the barriers and he was unhappy in the barriers again before he finished at the tail of the field in a barrier trial over 1030 metres at Rosehill Gardens last Tuesday.
Thompson said that Auvray’s barrier manners are a cause for concern and he revealed that the imported galloper would be gelding if he continued to play up during his 2015 Spring Racing Carnival campaign.
“Kerrin McEvoy galloped him this morning and he said the same as my opinion, but the worry with him is his barrier manners.
“He is really starting to develop into a real stallion and in the barriers he obviously gets a bit close to the other horses and he is not happy to have that divider between them.
“We are going to try a barrier blanket for him this Friday and hopefully that calms him down.
“It is a little worry going forward, but hopefully once the freshness is out of him we can put all that behind us and we can move on to getting him over some ground.
“I’m pretty sure you will see a nice exciting stayer once you do.”
Auvray is currently available at 2015 Melbourne Cup odds of $41 and could be Thompson’s first ever runner in ‘the race that stops a nation’.