Sydney trainer John Thompson believes patience will be key to the Geelong Cup chances of his imported stayer Orbec on Wednesday.
Orbec arrived in Melbourne “over a week ago” and his trainer says the five-year-old stallion “hasn’t missed a beat”.
“He’s settled in really well,” Thompson said. “He’s in good order and I couldn’t be any happier with him.
“He’s a tough bugger.”
Orbec is yet to win in his four starts of his first Australian preparation but has run well on each occasion.
After a close second in a benchmark 95 contest over 1800m, Orbec found himself in the worst part of the track when a somewhat unlucky third in the Listed Wyong Cup (2080m) before chasing home Beyond Thankful in the Group III Newcastle Gold Cup (2300m).
In the son of Le Havre’s latest start, Thompson says he wasn’t satisfied with the ride given to Orbec, who led for much of the Group I The Metropolitan (2400m) before finishing fourth behind Magic Hurricane.
“I asked Zac (Purton) if he’d watched the horse’s Newcastle Cup run and he said, ‘Yeah’ so I told him I wanted a bit more patient ride than that but he lead,” he said.
“I think if we can get him to really switch off, he’s got a great sprint for a stayer so ridden quietly I think he’ll really attack the line.”
On Wednesday in the $300,000 Group III William Hill Geelong Cup (2400m) Orbec has been afforded barrier one which will aid Thompson’s desire to ride the import quietly.
“Craig Williams gets on him on Wednesday and I want the horse to be ridden more patiently so the barrier draw helps,” he said. “I just want to see him relax and not overdo it.
“All the signs are the horse will run well.”
Thompson’s dream for Orbec is a start in the Melbourne Cup but the horse is currently 51st in the order of entry and would need to be victorious to incur a penalty or back-up and win the Lexus Stakes, which carries ballot exemption, on Victoria Derby day at Flemington.
Orbec is a $10 chance in the Geelong Cup with race sponsor William Hill.