Irish galloper Adelaide may be lacking in race experience but when it comes to travel he’s got his rivals covered.
The Aidan O’Brien-trained northern hemisphere three-year-old will be lining up for his eighth career start in Saturday’s $3 million feature over 2040m at Moonee Valley, but will be racing in his fifth country.
Since making a winning debut at Leopardstown in Ireland on October 26 last year, Adelaide has ventured to France (twice), England and the US and on Saturday will be having his first Australian start.
The colt rounded off his Cox Plate campaign with a strong gallop over 1200m at the Werribee quarantine centre on Tuesday morning under track rider David Bergin, running home his last 600m in 36.25 secs.
Coolmore Australia racing manager James Bester was on hand at Werribee to oversee the gallop.
Bester said everything had gone to plan for Adelaide who is regarded as a four-year-old for Saturday’s race and has to give the southern hemisphere-bred three-year-olds 6.5kg, .
“He’s happy and well,” Bester said.
“The whole trip and the preparation has been ideal.
“Now it’s a question of race day and handling the Moonee Valley circuit and atmosphere and a bit of luck in running.”
Bester has no doubts Adelaide will adapt to the tight turning Moonee Valley circuit.
“He’s handled a tight track at Arlington, that was left handed and he handled Belmont too,” Bester said.
“He loves firm ground but that said Moonee Valley is a particularly quirky kind of a track in international terms.
“It has a short straight but good horses can win there because of the pressure being on all of the way.”
The colt will have internationally renowned jockey Ryan Moore, who arrives on Thursday night, in the saddle. Moore is in top form having won Sunday’s Canadian International at Woodbine on Hillstar.
With Epsom Derby winner Australia retired through injury, Adelaide has now become a pin-up horse for O’Brien’s Ballydoyle stable, but that will change with the colt to remain in Australia following the Cox Plate and go to Chris Waller.
“The feeling is he’s getting better and better and will reach his peak hopefully in the autumn in the Queen Elizabeth,” Bester said.