French gelding Trevieres will make his Group 1 debut in the Toorak Handicap (1600m) at Caulfield on Saturday and assistant trainer Stephanie Nigge admits that the race is a significant step-up in class for the six-year-old.
Trevieres has performed strongly in handicap races in France this season but has never been tested at Group level and will face some of Australia’s leading Group 1 handicappers this weekend.
Nigge told Racing Ahead that the Gold Away gelding has settled in well, since arriving in Australia just under a fortnight ago, and said connections were happy to roll the dice in the $400,000 race.
“He travelled really well and settled in well,” Nigge said.
“So far everything is alright with him and we are looking forward to going to the races on Saturday.
“He is very easy, he is just a darling; we would like to have all the horses like him.
“We all know that it is a big step from the big handicaps straight into a Group 1 but we have to try.
“The horse is really well, he worked well, so why not.”
There isn’t expected to be a great deal of pace in the Toorak Handicap and Nigge said that Trevieres will likely settle in the second half of the field, with Kerrin McEvoy on board, and run home with a strong finishing burst.
“We have barrier eight so if he jumps out well we would be happy to sit midfield,” Nigge said
“He is not a horse that is ridden in the front so he will be midfield or at the back.
“Hopefully he has enough pace to come from the back like we did with Shahwardi last year.”
Trevieres has been included in the entries for the Group 1 Caulfield Cup (2400m), Group 1 Cox Plate (2040m) and Group 1 Melbourne Cup (3200m) but Nigge said no further 2013 Spring Racing Carnival plans will be made until after the Australian-owned galloper runs on Saturday.
“I think that it will be the owners decision and we are taking it step by step,” Nigge said.
“We will see how he goes on Saturday and make a decision after that.”
Nigge has previously had success in Melbourne; accompanying Americain to Australia for the past three editions of the Melbourne Cup.