Evergreen New Zealand-based gelding Veyron has arrived in Australia and is a confirmed acceptor for the Group 2 Warwick Stakes (1400m) in Sydney on Saturday.
Trainer Linda Laing brought the eight-year-old to Australia earlier this year to contest the Group 1 Doncaster Handicap (1600m) and he looked a winning chance after finishing a credible eighth behind Pierro in the Group 1 George Ryder Stakes (1500m) but was ruled out of the event due to a freak injury.
Laing told AAP that she was devastated by the forced withdrawal but said it added to her motivation to bring Veyron back to Australia for a tilt at the 2013 Spring Racing Carnival.
“Australia hasn’t seen the best of him and I’m keen for him to show how good he really is,” Laing said.
“When we came over in the autumn he stood on a palm frond at Warwick Farm on the Tuesday before the Doncaster and a blood blister developed and he missed the race.
“It was devastating but he’s in good shape now.”
Veyron has had another outstanding twelve months, with the son of Thorn Park adding a victory in the Group 1 Zabeel Classic (2000m) at Ellerslie on Boxing Day to his previous Group 1 triumphs in the Land Pride Easter Handicap (1600m), Waikato Draught Sprint (1400m), Haunui Farm Classic (1600m) and the Manco Easter Handicap (1600m).
Although Veyron has been successful at Group 1 weight-for-age level, he has generally performed at his best in handicap events and Laing has targeted the Group 1 Epsom Handicap (1600m) at Royal Randwick on October 5 as the major spring goal for the veteran gelding.
Veyron will need to be at his best in the Warwick Stakes on Saturday with nine Australian Group 1 winners, including Shoot Out, Foreteller, Hawkspur and Streama, set to contest the race.
Sydney based-jockey Christian Reith has been booked to take the ride after regular rider Rogan Norvall was unable to travel to Australia because of problems with his work visa.