Granddukeoftuscany will begin a Warrnambool Cup campaign that coincides with his first run for his new stable at Caulfield.
Formerly owned by Lloyd Williams and prepared at Macedon Lodge by Robert Hickmott, Granddukeoftuscany is now trained at the coastal town of Warrnambool by Matthew Williams.
Williams considered sending Granddukeoftuscany to the Terang Cup (2150m) on Sunday but decided to start the seven-year-old in the Ladbrokes Handicap (1700m) at Caulfield on Saturday.
“I thought we’d start at the 1700 and see where we’re at and then build our way up to his trip,” Williams said.
With the Warrnambool Cup in early May, Williams plans to start Granddukeoftuscany in either an 1800m handicap at Flemington on Anzac Day or a 1700m-handicap on the opening day at Warrnambool with a quick back-up into the Cup two days later.
“It’s something that hasn’t been done a lot in recent years but in years gone by it used to be quite popular,” he said.
While the Warrnambool Cup is a target, there is the potential of a trip to Queensland for a winter campaign.
Williams said Granddukeoftuscany wasn’t expensive and he had the gelding syndicated less than 24 hours after buying him.
“It’s pretty hard buying tried horses but he’s the sort of horse that is going to be running in $100,000 races in the off-season,” Williams said.
“But if his form warranted he potentially could run in a Brisbane Cup while there’s also the possibility of the Ipswich Cup and the Caloundra Cup.”
Williams said Granddukeoftuscany first came on his radar following a race at Sandown last year.
He contacted the Macedon Lodge team but didn’t hear back until Lloyd Williams rang to say the gelding was available.
“Lloyd got in touch and said he could be bought as they were bringing new stock in and wanted to move some stock out,” Williams said.
Should the flat career of Granddukeoftuscany not pan out as Williams expects, there is the prospect of jumping the gelding.
Williams said the gelding did some schooling and was quite adept at jumping when at Macedon Lodge and has shown his potential since being in the his stable.
“It wouldn’t take a lot to get his ticket,” Williams said.