French-bred stayer Auvray has had a Group One added to his autumn carnival program after an impressive win in the Sky High Stakes at Rosehill.
Buoyant trainer Richard Freedman has no hesitation in nominating the Tancred Stakes (2400m) at Rosehill on March 31 as a new target for the seven-year-old gelding.
The $2 million Sydney Cup (3200m) at Randwick on April 14 remains the major goal of this preparation.
Freedman, the third Australian trainer to handle Auvray since he arrived from Europe, has discovered the knack of getting the best out of the veteran.
The Group Three Sky High Stakes (2000m) was his third win for Freedman.
“We just had to work him out. We decided we’d work him a different way, work him twice a day instead of once a day and he’s just thrived,” Freedman said.
While $3.40 favourite Libran and Stampede looked to be fighting out the finish until Auvray ($9) and Glyn Schofield unleashed late to score by 1-1/4 lengths.
Libran clung on for second ahead of Mackintosh ($7) who improved from last at the 400m to close the gap on his stablemate to a short half-head.
Freedman paid tribute to Schofield, who also saluted on Multifacets in the Catanach’s Handicap.
“Glyn understands him well. He had the plan before I even spoke to him today that we was going to ride him exactly as he did.
“I’m really pleased for (owners) China Horse Club too. They took a risk leaving him with me so I’m glad it’s paying off.”
Auvray firmed from $15 into $11 for the Sydney Cup.