Few Sydney winter cameos have had the potential to deliver a spring insight like the one Cafe Society can provide on Saturday.
The latest import to find his way to Tulloch Lodge, Cafe Society will be a headline horse among off-season fare at Rosehill because of a piece of 2014 English form that has stood up at the highest level in Australia.
Cafe Society makes his southern hemisphere debut as a minor placegetter behind Contributer at Royal Ascot last year, just days after he was sold to Gai Waterhouse at auction.
The result gained relevance to Australian racing when Contributer cut a swathe through the Sydney autumn carnival, winning the Apollo Stakes, Chipping Norton Stakes and Ranvet Stakes for Godolphin.
It also heightened stable expectations for what lies ahead.
“He’s a genuine Cups horse. That was the purpose of his purchase and he’s done nothing to suggest otherwise,” Tulloch Lodge spokesman Mark Newnham said.
“He’s shown he is up to that grade and look it’s just a matter of giving him a full preparation here including a race so that he gets used to our conditions more than anything.”
Cafe Society gave a sneak preview of his obvious talent when he peeled around the heels of the leaders to win a Randwick barrier trial in preparation for the Perfection Fresh Handicap with Kerrin McEvoy as his rider.
“Kerrin thought on what he did in the trial that he would be competitive at 1500 metres,” Newnham said.
“That’s the thing with those European stayers, they can be effective at shorter distances if they are trained to do it.”
Newnham said Cafe Society would have his training eased after Saturday.
“He’s been in the system for quite a while and Gai wanted to at least give him one run and then give him a freshen up towards the spring,” he said.
Cafe Society is a $51 Melbourne Cup chance across most Australian betting agencies.