US G1 winner Winchester arrives for Cups
19 Jun 2012 | Multiple US Grade 1 winner Winchester has arrived at the Malua Racing Stables of John Sadler and Troy Corstens where he is being readied for a Cups campaign this spring.
Winchester arrived at the Flemington stables of Malua Racing last week after being quarantined in New Zealand for a month.
The Theatrical entire has caught the eye of all involved with the multiple US Grade 1 winner since entering his new home including Malua Racing's General Manager Troy Corstens.
“We've had him in the stables for about a week and a half,” Corstens said.
“Anthony Mithen (Rosemont Stud) put a group together and purchased him from the US, asked us if we would be interested in training him and of course he didn't have to ask twice.
“He is a beautiful horse, we are very pleased with him.
“He is quite a big horse, but not too big, about 16.1 [hands]. He is very athletic, well proportioned, just a really strong looking type.”
Formerly trained by leading US horseman Christophe Clement, Winchester became a multiple Grade 1 winner in America.
Career highlights consist of successes in the 2010 Belmont Park Manhattan Handicap (2000m), the 2010 Joe Hirsch Turf Classic (2412m) and the 2011 Sword Dancer Invitational Stakes (2412m).
In each of the victories Winchester has settled near or at the rear of the field prior to winding up strongly in the straight.
“I've watched a couple of his runs,” Corstens said. “He looked really good, very impressive.”
With such a record, Winchester is fully qualified for the Group 1 Melbourne Cup on November 6 and is almost assured of being allocated a weight that guarantees him a start in the two mile Flemington feature.
“A horse like this going into the spring, if we can get him up and going there is no doubt he can be a Cups horse,” Corstens said.
“He is already fully qualified.
“It is great as you can target the races you want to target, you don't have to worry about where you are going to run, where we need to get a placing or whether we are going to get in because we know we're already there.”
The only query surrounding Winchester is his ability to run out the 3200m with 2412m at this stage the longest trip the stallion has raced over.
“He hasn't got the typical build of a stayer,” Corstens said.
“If you said he was a miler you wouldn't question that at all.
“He looks amazing, he is just a really nice horse to look at.”
Winchester last raced in October when he was unsuccessful in recording back to back Joe Hirsch Invitational Stakes wins behind Aidan O'Brien's former star Cape Blanco .
He was initially retired by the previous owners following the run before Antony Mithen's Rosemont Stud purchased the stallion prospect for racing.
The seven-year-old was given a generous spell and after being quarantined in New Zealand for a month is ready to begin preparations for his 2012 Melbourne Cup campaign.
“He has just been ticking over for about four weeks and he is about ready to step up and start a bit of pace work in the next week or two,” Corstens said.
“We'll look to a first up run for him in around late August.”
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