Purcell Outlines 2014 Naturalism Stakes as Pivotal for St Jean

July 18th, 2014

Securing back-to-back victories at the close of his maiden Australian racing campaign through autumn, trainer Aaron Purcell has revealed he is hoping to target the featured Group 1 Caulfield Cup (2400m) with exciting French import St Jean, with the Group 3 Naturalism Stakes (2000m) on September 20th to figure as a major stepping stone.

Trainer Aaron Purcell will target the 2014 Naturalism Stakes with St Jean ahead of the Caulfield Cup

Trainer Aaron Purcell will target the 2014 Naturalism Stakes with St Jean ahead of the Caulfield Cup. Photo: Race Horse Photos Australia

Returning to the spelling paddock following victory over classy competition in an event over 2400m at Sandown on May 31st, Purcell said he has been pleased with the way St Jean has taken to work since returning to his Warrnambool stables, revealing he has grand plans for the rising five-year-old this time in.

“He had three, three-and-a-half weeks off he didn’t have a lot off, being a stallion I was a little bit concerned about him doing too well and it becoming too hard a job to get him fit again,” Purcell told Racing Victoria.

“If he did too well, I’d be flat out getting him fit again, they can blow up, and stallions generally do pretty well and there hard to get weight off when they get above you.

“He only had a more of a let up I guess, he did really well putting on 20kg to 30kgs in that time, but he does look really good I couldn’t be happier.

“There is a race at Moonee Valley late August, a 1500m Open Handicap that’s sort of the vague kickoff point but it may be a week or two off that I’m not too sure.

“We’ll enter him for the Cups and probably try and get him to the Naturalism and if he can win that he’ll get into the Caulfield Cup.

“We’ll give him his chances to qualify for the better races and if it doesn’t happen well we’ll look at other options.”

Claiming an impressive total of four wins and four minor places from just 13 competitive starts so far, St Jean debuted to Australian racing with a hard-fought fourth in the Hocking Stuart Handicap (1400m) on March 19th before stamping his claims as one to watch when strolling home to win a local staying event over 2000m by three lengths.

Disappointing when last in the featured Warrnambool Cup (2350m) on May 1st, the Teofilo entire returned to prominence when comfortably winning each of his two most recent starts, both metropolitan.

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