A successful spring carnival brings with it added autumn expectations for the Archie Alexander-trained Lord Fandango who begins his path towards Group One targets in the Carlyon Cup.
The five-year-old stayer kicks off his latest preparation in Saturday’s Group Three race over 1600m at Caulfield, the scene of the two biggest races the import has contested so far.
After winning the Benalla Cup (2046m) in the second start of his spring campaign, Lord Fandango went on to win the Group Two Herbert Power Stakes (2400m) at Caulfield before backing up a week later to finish fourth in the $3 million Group One Caulfield Cup (2400m).
Given those performances and an increase in his rating, Alexander said they had to set the bar high this time around.
“Obviously last spring was really good for him and this time we’ve sort of got a bit more pressure on us,” Alexander said.
“But he’s come back in great shape. He kicks off in the Carlyon Cup and he’s going into the race really well.”
After the Carlyon Cup, Alexander has pencilled in the Group Two Peter Young Stakes (1800m) and Group One Australian Cup (2000m) in Melbourne before heading to Sydney for the Group One BMW (2400m).
“I’m looking forward to it,” Alexander said.
“He hasn’t been far away (in a Group One) and hopefully his day will come soon.”
Jordan Childs gets back aboard Lord Fandango on Saturday.
Apprentice Ben Allen rode the horse in the Herbert Power and Caulfield Cup when the five-year-old had a weight below Childs’ range.
Lord Fandango was at $10 on Thursday for the Carlyon Stakes in a field of seven headlined by the Darren Weir-trained dual Group One winner Gailo Chop.