It wasn’t until Floating Artist strolled home to claim his third win on the trot that the Ciaron Maher and David Eustace stable considered a Caulfield Cup start.
But to make sure of getting into Saturday’s 2400m Group 1 Handicap, Floating Artist needed to win a ballot exemption.
One of those was last Saturday’s Group 2 Herbert Power Stakes (2400m) which Floating Artist was an acceptor for, only to be scratched, or the Group 3 Coongy Cup (2000m) at Caulfield on Wednesday.
Having started his career in the UK, Floating Artist arrived in Australia late last year and was given the opportunity to acclimatise.
He was well beaten at his Australian debut at Caulfield before stringing three wins on the trot at The Valley, Flemington and Sandown, the latest over 1800m on September 25.
“We changed our mind on the Caulfield Cup after his last run and we knew he’d have to run in the Herbert Power or the Coongy to get in,” Eustace said.
“You always hope that you can get to one of those races. There was lots of pros and cons for both races, but we thought the track was firm on Saturday and on Wednesday there is a bit of rain around.
“The trip as well, 2000 metres, we thought that would suit better at this stage.”
Floating Artist has been installed the $1.85 favourite to win on Wednesday with connections then having until 3pm to decide whether to pay up for a start in the Caulfield.
If Floating Artist does not make the Caulfield Cup field, Maher and Eustace will still have strong representation in the Group 1 contest with Explosive Jack and Persan.
“They both galloped on Saturday morning and worked well,” Eustace said.
“They’re in great nick.”