Aussie owners chase Arc upset
Oct 06, 2018
He was bought to win a Melbourne Cup but could French stayer Tiberian’s true calling be in another of the world’s great races, Sunday’s Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe?
That’s the hope of several of his excited owners, including Australian Thoroughbred Bloodstock’s Darren Dance who, while thrilled to have a horse contesting the Arc, admits the son of Tiberius Caesar is a fluker’s chance at best.
The one-time teaser stallion finished seventh, nine lengths adrift of Rekindling, in last year’s Lexus Melbourne Cup and has gone winless in five subsequent runs in Hong Kong and France.
And if he wasn’t already up against it, his task on Sunday is made even tougher by the presence of many of the world’s premier middle-distance gallopers, including defending champion Enable, William Haggas’ dual Oaks winner Sea of Class and Godolphin’s globetrotter Talismanic.
"His form hasn't been that great this preparation but he's had a few little niggles but they tell me he's working really well," Dance said of the Alain Couetil-trained stayer who will be accompanied by jockey William Buick.
"I think Enable will probably give him a flogging but it will be nice if he can run midfield and run a nice race.
"For us it was a big thing to bring the horse here for the Melbourne Cup but for the French owners that bred him ans stayed in it's probably bigger to have an Arc runner."
Dance is more optimistic about the prospects of ATB’s honest stayer Yogi in Saturday’s Group 3 Bart Cummings (2500m) at Flemington.
Victory would secure Lexus Melbourne Cup ballot exemption for the six-year-old, who was unplaced in the Listed Tokyo City Cup (1800m) last start but did capture the Group 3 Port Adelaide Cup the last time he raced over 2500m.
"He can certainly win, the horse is flying and Darren Weir is really happy with him," he said.
"We've set him for this race since he ran in it last year and everything has been geared around trying to win the Bart Cummings to get a free ticket into the Melbourne Cup."