Ciaron Maher will accept in Melbourne and Sydney with imported galloper Kapour as the stayer prepares for the spring’s Cup races.
The Irish-bred stayer which campaigned in France before arriving in Australia, will be an acceptor for the Naturalism Stakes (2000m) at Caulfield on Saturday.
Maher will also accept with the stayer in the Group Two Hill Stakes (2000m) at Randwick.
The trainer’s preference is to run at Caulfield where Kapour has the minimum of 54kg under the quality handicap conditions.
In Sydney he has 59kg in the weight-for-age Hill Stakes that is dominated by Chris Waller’s 11 nominations.
Kapour is 20th in the order of entry for Caulfield and 19th in Sydney and both races have a field limit of 16.
Kapour won his first three races in France and was placed at Group Two level before arriving in Australia.
After two runs last spring, Kapour returned in the early part of winter with two runs before striking a wet track when successful in the Winter Cup at Rosehill.
He then headed further north, splitting Bonfire and Shoreham in the Grafton Cup.
Returning off a short break Kapour finished third in the Premier’s Cup (1800m) at Rosehill on August 29, suggesting a good campaign is in order.
And Maher is looking to the longer races deeper into the spring with Kapour.
“He was a little fresh up there in Sydney for his first-up run, but that was probably his best run under 10 furlongs since he’s been in Australia,” Maher said.
“I think he’s in for a good campaign but I think he will be better as he stretches out even further than a mile and a half.”
Victory in the Naturalism Stakes gives Kapour an automatic entry into the Caulfield Cup but Maher is thinking longer term to the Melbourne Cup.
A win in The Bart Cummings (2500m) at Flemington on October 4 will secure the gelding a run in the Melbourne Cup.
“Longer term the two miles of the Melbourne Cup, or the Sandown Cup, will be better for him,” Maher said.
Kapour has 50kg in both the Caulfield and Melbourne Cups.