Torcedor (Image: Te Akau Racing)
Australian Bloodstock has turned to Horsham trainer Paul Preusker to reignite Torcedor's spring ambitions.
Torcedor was one of 18 European horses - five of which are owned by Australian Bloodstock - to enter quarantine in the UK on Thursday night and, in something of a dramatic change of plans, he will join Presuker's bush setting instead of staying under the care of renowned German trainer Andreas Wohler.
Torcedor was considered one of Europe's best chances in last year's Lexus Melbourne Cup before an untimely virus kept him in the UK and again this year his Cup chances seemed to have fallen away after failing to recapture his form in two runs.
In July last year, he pushed staying star Stradivarius to half a length in the 3200-metre Goodwood Cup and was also close to him when third in the Ascot Gold Cup.
Australian Bloodstock Director Jamie Lovett said Preusker had impressed him with the way he presented his horses, especially stayers such as Lexus Melbourne Cup hopeful Surprise Baby.
"Torcedor's obviously going to stay here now and we just thought we'd roll the dice and we like the way he trains," Lovett said of Preusker.
"We have a few (horses) there at the moment and that is what led us down that road. We are quite impressed with what he's doing with them.
"We thought it was a good opportunity to give him a staying horse, which he is obviously proven with, and we're looking forward to seeing what he can do with them.
"He's an older horse, a staying horse and I think he works for the horse."
Torcedor, whose international rating has fallen to 108 following two surprisingly poor runs in Germany this campaign, was to have gone to the German St Leger before coming out in a later shipment to Melbourne but Lovett said it was decided to get the horse here and aim him solely at the Lexus Melbourne Cup.
"He's not a horse that cops a lot of racing," he said. "He had a little issue but came out of it OK. He wasn't sore but we just didn't want to take a risk to race him over there again."
Torcedor was allocated 53.5 kilograms this week for November's Lexus Melbourne Cup, which places him 42nd in order for a start in the 24-horse field.
"He's a weighted horse if you look at his old form but he has to capture that," Lovett conceded.
"On paper it doesn't look good but his work leading into those runs has been fantastic."
Australian Bloodstock is set for a big spring as along with locally based stayers Shraaoh, Aliferous and Sixities Groove, there is some almighty firepower on the first shipment expected in Melbourne on AFL Grand Final Day.
The four horses are Caulfield Cup and Cox Plate fancy Danceteria, Caulfield and Lexus Melbourne Cup star Mustajeer, Lexus Melbourne Cup-bound Raheen House and Toorak Handicap horse Chief Ironside.