Cup prospect Athabascan strikes again

Cup prospect Athabascan strikes again23 Sep 2023

Melbourne Cup hope Athabascan was afforded no favours in the running at Rosehill in his latest outing, but he showed his staying talent with a powerhouse finish to post his second win on the bounce over 2400 metres.

The French-bred son of Almanzor had claimed the Listed Tattersall’s Cup at Randwick earlier this month and added the G3 Colin Stephen Quality for trainer John O’Shea and rider Tom Sherry.

Athabascan settled four back on the fence but was shuffled back to last across the top before he angled across heels halfway down the straight and thundered home for the third win of his career.

“He’ll go to the Bart Cummings now, we want a ticket into the big one (Melbourne Cup) so he’s a young stayer that’s right at the top of his game and will take a power of beating in a couple of weeks,” O’Shea said.

“Gelding him has really helped him and a little bit of time. He’s a really good stayer and I’ve always felt he was a nice horse with a future and he’s starting to repay us.”

Athabascan began his career in France with champion trainer Andre Fabre and was a maiden winner over 2000 metres before placing at stakes level and subsequently secured by OTI Racing.

"We've been so confident in him," O'Shea said.

"He had a bunch of wet tracks last season and you get to see him at his best now.

"And he's furnished. When he came to us, he was 480 kilos and he's 520 now, he's a 40-kilo heavier horse."

"He is a top-class stayer and we're really looking forward to the next month.

He is out of the Dansili mare Alzubra, whose five victories featured the Listed Prix Dahlia.