French-trained stayer Tiberian is on target for a Melbourne Cup tilt after a Group Three win at Deauville.
Australian Thoroughbred Bloodstock bought a half-share in the 2017 Melbourne Cup hopeful before his current campaign and the Alain Couetil-trained horse’s narrow win in Sunday’s Prix de Reux was his third from four starts since.
“We bought a 50 per cent share in the horse with the guys that owned him, because we identified him as the right sort of horse with the right credentials at the time,” ATB owner Darren Dance said.
“And they were keen to partner up with us, given we’ve had experience in the Melbourne Cup and they haven’t been to Australia for racing.”
Dance said Tiberian was likely to have one more start before entering quarantine late next month ahead of the trip to Australia.
“He was down to go to Goodwood but given the bad weather they had over there, and given he’s a firm track horse, he ended up staying in France and it proved to be a good move because he was able to win,” Dance said.
ATB’s fluorescent yellow colours have been seen regularly in recent Melbourne Cups without breaking through for a win.
They have been carried to three top-five finishes with Jakkalberry third in 2012, Dandino fifth a year later while Irish-trained Heartbreak City came close last year when second to Almandin.
“You just wonder whether you’re ever going to win it,” Dance said.
“But look, he’s probably on paper as good as what Heartbreak City was at the same time, and maybe a bit better.
“He’ll be competitive in the race, but everything has to go right for them to win.”
Dance said Tiberian had qualified for the Cup with two Group Three wins over 2400m or further and he expected him to get around 54kg.
He said Tiberian was scheduled to fly to Melbourne with the second shipment of internationals.
“Quarantine starts on September 28, so more than likely he’ll have one more start before he goes into quarantine and then he’ll just come out for the Melbourne Cup,” Dance said.