Chris Waller will devise a 12-month plan to get to next year’s Lexus Melbourne Cup with Shraaoh after the stoutly-bred import landed Tuesday’s Ronald McDonald House Plate (2800m) at his Australian debut.
Despite it being his first run since July, the son of Sea The Stars relished the staying trip and the Heavy 8 conditions at Flemington to easily defeat fellow imports Steel Prince and Azuro.
Waller said the Australian Bloodstock-owned six-year-old, who was runner-up to ill-fated Godolphin stayer Hamada in his final start for UK trainer Harry Fry, arrived at Werribee in September with a solid fitness base.
“We backed the English fitness, he hasn’t trialled like we normally would’ve done and we’ve just done some basic work with him,” Waller said.
“When he went to the front I thought he needed to be fit to hang on today and it’s given me great appreciation for the European stayers of how fit they actually are and how we don’t have to interfere too much in this late stage.
“We’ll give him a bit of time now and I’d say he’ll get ready for the Sydney Cup.
“We might be here (Melbourne Cup) next year.”
The win was the second leg of a double for Sea The Stars, whose progressive son Fifty Stars notched his fifth win from seven career starts in the Grinders Coffee Roasters Trophy (1400m).
The Darren Weir-trained galloper sprinted clear under Ben Allen to defeat Manuel by almost two lengths.