Trainer Phillip Stokes is not expecting a lot from former French galloper Amade at his Australian debut in the Easter Cup on Saturday but says he will discover a lot more about the stayer.
Amade has not raced since winning the Belmont Gold Cup (3219m) in the US in June 2019.
A seven-year-old by Casamento, Amade was bred in Ireland and did all his racing in France before his victory in the US.
Amade has won eight of his 13 starts, on firm and soft tracks as well as synthetic surfaces, ranging in distances from 2150m to 3400m.
He has raced only twice at a trip shorter than 2000m, both times over 1900m.
Stokes said Amade suffered some soundness issues after his win in the Belmont Gold Cup and underwent pre-training with Matthew Williams at Warrnambool before joining his stable.
“He hasn’t raced for almost two years as he’s coming off some soundness issues, but he’s had a few trials and jump-outs coming into this,” Stokes said.
“He’ll need the outing. We’ve got no expectations on Saturday other than to get around safely.
“It’s a bit of watch and learn and hopefully we can build on it.”
Stokes said Saturday’s race will be too short, adding Amade was a nice horse that had continued to improve throughout the preparation.
“He’s still acclimatising to everything here, but I’ve been happy with him,” Stokes said.
“He’s had some good testing gallops and he’s got a good set of lungs on him, but I guess we need to see him past 2000 metres, and closer to 3000 before he comes into his own.”
Stokes will also saddle Adelaide Cup winner Good Idea in Saturday’s race, with the trainer saying he needs a start in preparation for the Group 1 Sydney Cup (3200m) at Randwick on April 17.