Fiorente: could return to Britain for Royal AscotPICTURE: Getty Images
Royal Ascot on the agenda for Fiorente
Report: Australia, Saturday
Flemington: Darley Australian Cup (Group 1) 1m2f, turf, 3yo+
A RETURN to Britain for a tilt at Royal Ascot looks on the cards for Fiorente (Gai Waterhouse/Damien Oliver) after the Emirates Melbourne Cup winner produced another top-class display to win the Darley Australian Cup.
Sent off a shade of odds-on in the $A1 million (£550,000) highlight of Flemington's Super Saturday card, the former Sir Michael Stoute-trained six-year-old came from the rear to beat 2012 Melbourne Cup winner Green Moon by a half-length.
With Cox Plate winner Shamus Award only sixth, former European-trained horses filled the first five places.
Fiorente, who won the Princess of Wales's Stakes for Stoute at the July meeting in 2012, will now head for the inaugural Championships meeting at Randwick, where he will attempt to add Sydney's richest race, the A$4m Queen Elizabeth Stakes to his tally.
Then Gai Waterhouse is keen to take her stable star back to Britain. "Why wouldn't I take him to Royal Ascot now?" Waterhouse said, speaking to AAP Racing. "He's in supreme form and he's still only lightly raced - he's only had 18 starts."
"I wanted to win this race and I knew I had the horse to do it," she added. "The speed was on very early today there was pressure on the whole time. He was last, then he was caught wide on the turn and he just kept finding the line. No wonder the crowd loves him."
Also on Saturday
Flemington: Lexus Newmarket Hcap (Group 1) 6f, turf, 3yo+
Oakleigh Plate winner Lankan Rupee (Mick Price/Chad Schofield) will also be on the Royal Ascot radar after proving himself the most improved sprinter in Australia with a devastating victory in this A$1m event.
The 5-1 shot powered clear to score by two and a quarter lengths over Spirit Of Boom. "I'm just really pleased that in the toughest sprint in Australia he's found sixth gear and blasted away," Price said.
Lankan Rupee, who has won six out of seven since being gelded, will bid for a Group 1 hat-trick in the TJ Smith Stakes at the inaugural Championships meeting in Sydney next month.
Flemington: Blamey Stakes (Group 2) 1m, turf, 3yo+
Lindari (Peter Moody/Luke Nolen) is likely to be set for the Doncaster Mile at the Championships after beating former Aidan O'Brien-trained Foundry by a length.
Over an inadequate trip, former Stoute-trained Sea Moon struggled home at the tail of the field on his first outing since the Melbourne Cup.
Warwick Farm (Sydney): Chipping Norton Stakes (Group 1) 1m, turf, 3yo+
Just 20 minutes after young star jockey Chad Schofield took the Newmarket Handicap in Melbourne on Lankan Rupee, his father Glyn partnered Boban (Chris Waller), who returned to form to beat New Zealand's top horse It's A Dundeel in the first of 21 Group 1s in Sydney before the end of April.
Racing in the Arrowfield silks for the first time, odds-on favourite It's A Dundeel was beaten a length into second. "He was beaten by a better horse on the day," said trainer Murray Baker, speaking to AAP Racing.
"He may have been a bit fresh but we had our chance. He had a trial but he hadn't had a race and you can't beat a race."