The Werribee International Horse Centre was in full swing this morning with 12 of the 13 Spring Racing Carnival hopes in quarantine going through their paces.
The exception was the Hong Kong-trained Bear Hero who arrived in Melbourne yesterday afternoon and trainer David Ferraris decided to give him a little more time to get over the trip.
As usual, Emirates Melbourne Cup winner Americain was first onto the track and went through his usual routine of walking a lap then cantering before stepping up a gear with a 2000 metre gallop.
Remarkably, assistant trainer Stephanie Nigge said Americain did not lose any weight on the 38 hour trip from England to Melbourne and at 528kgs was 2kgs heavier than when he arrived on Saturday.
‘'He is doing very well and we will have to keep the work up to him because he's too fresh,'' Nigge said.
He said it still had not been decided if Americain would start in the weight-for-age Group 1 Caulfield Stakes (2000m) on Saturday week but he would certainly have a run before the Melbourne Cup.
‘'We could even go to the Geelong Cup (which he won last year) again as long as he doesn't have to carry too much weight.''
Stand in trainer Lee Freedman is very happy with the progress of Lucas Cranach who worked this morning with lead horse Echelon who had been borrowed from the Fran Houlahan stable for the job.
Freedman has been looking after Lucas Cranach for his brother Anthony and the horse's new owners during his quarantine at Newmarket in England after arriving from Germany.
‘'He's a nice horse and I really like him. He's settled in well and we're starting to step up his work,'' Freedman said.
Corey Brown and Craig Williams are in the mix for the ride on Lucas Cranach in the Melbourne Cup and Freedman favours the Group 3 Geelong Cup (2400m) rather than the BMW Caulfield Cup (2400m) as his lead-in to the Melbourne Cup.
‘'Corey Brown is riding in Melbourne on Sunday and he may stay over and ride Lucas Cranach in a gallop on Tuesday, ‘' he said.
Travelling foreman Charlie Henson worked Drunken Sailor and Manighar together this morning with the veteran Bauer following behind while Sahara Sun, the latest addition to the Luca Cumani stable had a strong canter with lead pony Madang Flyer.
Henson said Sahara Sun would run in the Caulfield Stakes on Saturday week while Drunken Sailor and Manighar would both start in the Caulfield Cup on their way to the Melbourne Cup.
He said Bauer, who still has to qualify for the Melbourne Cup, would run in the Caulfield Stakes or the Cranbourne Cup (2025m) on Sunday week.
The Brian Ellison-trained Saptapadi and Moyenne Corniche stepped up their work with a strong canter over about 1500 metres and they also have yet to qualify for the Melbourne Cup.
George Moore, assistant trainer to his father John, said Mighty High and Silver Grecian had both come through their runs at Caulfield on Saturday better than expected considering the hard track.
He said Mighty High would next run in the Caulfield Stakes before the Caulfield Cup the following week while Silver Grecian's next start would be the Crystal Mile at Moonee Valley on Tatts Cox Plate Day before going to the Emirates Stakes (1600m) at Flemington on the final day of the VRC Carnival.