Thursday, 5 July 2012
: Classy French Group winner Prairie Star has joined the list of European stars purchased for the spring carnival by Australian interests.
OTI Racing has added the four-year-old to its list of overseas buys and will be set for the $2.65 million Caulfield Cup.
Prairie Star has won four of his 11 starts for top French trainer Elli Lellouche. OTI Racing's Terry Henderson said he will be transferred to John Hammond in France but may race out of the Danny O'Brien stable after he arrives in Melbourne.
“We'll give the horse a run in France towards the end of this month, or early in August," Henderson said.
"Danny, Simon O'Donnell and I will then sit down and decide whether it's best to leave him in John Hammond's hands to bring out, if John wants to do that, or whether to relocate him to Danny straight away."
“This year his main aim is the Caulfield Cup.
“He will be well weighted but he lacks a little bit of maturity which would make us a little bit reserved about pushing him too hard as a four-year-old.”
Prairie Star's won last year's G2 Prix Hocquart (2200m)before finishing sixth in the G1 Prix du Jockey Club (French Derby over 2100m at Chantilly.
OTI also plans to bring another recent Northern Hemisphere purchase Quest For Peace to Melbourne for the spring carnival.
The Luca Cumani-trained four-year-old was originally bought to target the famed G1 Arc de Triomphe in October but OTI has re-evaluated their plans for the son of Galileo.
“We've pretty much scuttled Arc plans and the Cumani camp will probably have their eye on the Caulfield Cup with him," Henderson said.
OTI also the classy German four-year-old Ibicenco as a contender for the $6.2 million Melbourne Cup at Flemington on November 6.
Also prepared by Cumani, Ibicenco hasn't started since finishing second Opinion Poll in the G3 Henry II Stakes (3300m) on May 31.
“He's definitely a two-miler,” Henderson said.
“He ran second to Opinion Poll, who only just got beaten in the Gold Cup at Ascot, so we know he's in very good form.”
OTI also has imported triple G1 winner Manighar and Queensland Derby winner Brambles heading their powerful spring carnival team.
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