Kerrin McEvoy riding Shahwardi to victory in the Herbert Power StakesPICTURE: Getty Images
Shahwardi strikes for France in Herbert Power
Report: Australia, Saturday
Caulfield: Herbert Power Stakes (Group 2) 1m4f, 3yo+
SHAHWARDI gave Alain de Royer-Dupre more success in Australia, as the six-year-old ran out an impressive winner of the Group 2 Herbert Power Stakes.
Owned by Tony Bloom, and formerly trained by Jeremy Gask, Shahwardi was only released from quarantine on the morning of racing, but showed no ill-effects to win by a length under Kerrin McEvoy.
French trainers have won the last two runnings of the Melbourne Cup, with de Royer-Dupre successful in 2010 with Americain, and the trainer appears to have another live contender.
McEvoy said: "There was a bit of action early and a bit of pace an the plan was to ride him to be last off the bridle and he enjoyed it."
As a result of his victory Shahwardi earns an automatic berth into next Saturday's Caulfield Cup, though he is not certain to take up that engagement.
The Melbourne Cup is the main target, and Shahwardi will be given a penalty on Monday. He is currently 42nd in the order of entries on 51.5kg, and Fiorente, who occupies the final place in the field of 24 has a weight of 53.5kg.
McEvoy added about Shahwardi's Melbourne Cup chances: "Obviously it's a step up in grade again but he has travelled over well and he'd be some sort of chance."
Favourite Gatewood, trained by John Gosden, enjoyed no luck in running and finished seventh