After watching the last spring carnival unfold and only being a bit player, trainer Sam Pritchard-Gordon decided to do something about it.
He headed off to the United Kingdom for a horses-in-training sale looking for a stayer and spring contender.
He found Our Yangtze who makes his Australian debut at Flemington on Saturday in the Archer Hall Of Fame Trophy (2000m).
“I sat there without runners during the spring carnival last year with the exception of A Lotta Love,” Pritchard-Gordon said.
“In turn we started thinking about the horses-in-training sale which I had been to before and got a horse called Buxted, which I won a stakes race with.”
Trained by Sir Michael Stoute, Our Yangtze came to Pritchard-Gordon’s attention through his UK-based bloodstock agent brother Tom.
Pritchard-Gordon said Our Yangtze was just below Group class three-year-old company in England but progressive enough for handicap grade.
He said that seemed a nice form line for a Cups type.
However Pritchard-Gordon was forced to pay more than anticipated, outlaying 185,000 guineas for Our Yangtze.
“It was more money than I had rallied together to go over with, but that’s what you do at horse sales,” Pritchard-Gordon said.
“There’s now a number of people and a number of syndicates in the horse.”
Our Yangtze arrived in Australia just before Christmas and Pritchard-Gordon has given the gelding a slow build-up.
“Once he furnishes and gets out to his trip he will be making his presence felt,” Pritchard-Gordon said.
“From what I’ve seen so far Flemington is probably going to be too short and a little too soon.
“You’ve got to start somewhere and there’s no rules with these types of horses.”
Pritchard-Gordon will be in Adelaide on Saturday to saddle A Lotta Love in the Group Three Proud Miss Stakes at Morphettville but will be keeping a close eye on the action at Flemington.
A Lotta Love ran third in the Proud Miss in 2016 and this year is coming off an unplaced performance in the UBET Classic on May 6.
“Thankfully she’s pulled up well and has a nice barrier on Saturday and I think she can make her presence felt,” he said.