Latrobe (left) failed to reel in Trap For Fools (Image: Racing Photos)
Latrobe might not have made it to the Melbourne Cup but Saturday's Mackinnon Stakes runner-up might yet get another chance in one of the world's biggest races this year in the $8.1 million Japan Cup in two weeks.
The Lloyd Williams-owned and Joseph O'Brien-trained galloper made an instant impact on his Australian debut on Saturday when he failed narrowly to reel in Traps For Fools in the $2 million weight-for-age race.
The Group 1 Japan Cup is scheduled for Sunday, November 25 and the Irish Derby winner was only paid-up for as a late entry on Wednesday.
O'Brien said after the race that Williams would soon decide if he continues to train Latrobe or whether he stays in Australia to be prepared out of Macedon Lodge, but he admitted that he hoped to continue his association with a horse he described as his best galloper.
"I am not sure yet," he said. "I guess Lloyd and Nick will think it about it this evening."
As for his performance, O'Brien was more than satisfied.
"I can't ask for any more than that really. He ran a fantastic race. Mark (Zahra) gave him a great ride. We are very proud of the horse," O'Brien said.
"The winner (Trap For Fools) got a couple of slow fractions down the back and that was probably the winning and losing of the race for us.
"I am delighted for Lloyd and Nick. Obviously frustrated that we didn't win but he's come pretty close."
O'Brien said he felt Latrobe could be one of the big players in Europe next year.
"He has all the big 10 and 12-furlong races on his radar," he said.
"Probably 12 furlongs (2400m) is his best trip. He's going to be a more mature horse next year. He was one of the biggest horses in the paddock in the race and he is only three."
O'Brien said he was already looking forward to assembling a team to return next spring.
"It's hard to find a horse good enough to take down," he said. "It's very competitive here. You have to bring your A-game and you need plenty of luck and you need to get the rub of the green.
"There's no point coming here with your B-team."