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Image: Steve Hart
Matthew Smith is looking to cause an Australian Cup boilover when he saddles Esti Feny at Flemington.

Trainer Matthew Smith knows his charge Esti Feny faces a difficult assignment when he lines up in the Australian Cup at Flemington.

The Hungarian-bred import is the $126 rank outsider with betting apps for the Group 1 contest over 2000m on Saturday, but the Australian Cup has been known to throw up long-priced winners.

Lindsay Park galloper Harlem won at $61 in 2018 and followed up the following year at $31.

Further back, Roman Arch scored at $51 in 2004 while Dulcify, one of the best gallopers to grace Flemington in a brilliant, but short-lived career, won the race in 1979 at $81.

Smith, who has a satellite stable at Flemington which he opened with six boxes earlier in the year, said success on Saturday would be a good advertisement for his new stable, but at the same time says he is realistically hoping to just collect some prize money.

Prize money is paid down to eighth and with nine runners engaged, Esti Feny needs to beat one home to pick up $60,000.

Esti Feny finished third behind Young Werther in the Australian Cup Prelude (1800m) on March 9 and Smith said a lack of pace in that race did not suit the gelding.

One thing Smith said was in the gelding’s favour on Saturday was the likelihood of a solid tempo.

“I had him in up in Sydney as well and I looked at both races and I thought at least there would be a solid tempo in Melbourne,” Smith said.

“There’s only nine acceptors and I thought we would try and beat one home and if we finish fifth there will be a little better prize.

“The quicker they go, the better his chance of being in the finish. He just needs a steady gallop.

“I don’t know whether he’s good enough to beat those better ones, but we’re hoping he might be the shock of the Carnival.”

Esti Feny was taken back to NSW after his Australian Cup Prelude and spent time at Smith’s country property.

“We’ve got a deep sand track up there which he likes,” Smith said.

“We took him back there and then brought him down for a trial at Warwick Farm on Tuesday, just to tick him over.

“He’s fit and well.”

 
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