By Ray Hickson
French import Olmedo received the James McDonald seal of approval after a gallop in heavy ground at Canterbury on Tuesday ahead of a possible Sydney debut at Rosehill this weekend.
Trainer Kacy Fogden was on hand to watch the five-year-old go through his paces and will now consider if he takes his place with 59kg in Saturday’s Group 2 $200,000 Hyland Race Colours Ajax Stakes (1500m).
“Considering the way he pulled up he’s where we need him to be at for this time of his program,’’ Fogden said.
“By the looks of it James got along with him pretty well. We’ll weigh up a few things before we confirm whether or not we’re running.
“He’s settled in perfectly, he’s been a dream since the day he got here. The more he works the more he eats, it’s indicating he’s perfect. We couldn’t have asked for a better horse to come over.’’
After the gallop on Tuesday, McDonald said Olmedo handled the work, which consisted of a one lap canter then a solid 1000m gallop, in his stride and felt very good under the saddle.
“He’s a nice horse and he’s very athletic, he did a nice bit of work,’’ McDonald said.
Olmedo was a Group 1 winner as a three-year-old of the French 2000 Guineas, his last win was a 2000m Group 3 at Deauville last August and he ran second at his last start in a Group 2 over a mile at Longchamps.
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Fogden has spent considerable time getting to know Olmedo’s form and personality and expects his racing style will be similar to that which took him to victory at Deauville.
“He’s a horse that likes to be forward, that’s where he is most comfortable,’’ she said.
“Not necessarily leading but in the forward part of the pack.’’
It’s a huge rap for Fogden that Aquis sent Olmedo to her care. The 28-year-old has been training around 18 months and is based at Canungra, west of the Gold Coast.
Olmedo is nominated for the Group 1 $3m The Star Doncaster Mile (1600m), where he's $26 with TAB, and Group 1 $4m Longines Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2000m) during The Star Championships and Fogden said she’s looking forward to the challenge.
“It’s pretty bloody scary but very exciting for us,’’ she said.
“He’s by far the most exciting horse we’ve had the opportunity to train.
“We are lucky to have a horse that has travelled over so well and has been so easy. He’s made our job so far pretty easy all in all."
Meanwhile, Addeybb worked solo at Canterbury on Tuesday with stablemate Young Rascal having the morning off.
The William Haggas-trained six-year-old is on target to make his local debut in the Group 1 Ranvet Stakes (2000m) at Rosehill on March 21.