Champion French stayer Americain has redeemed himself after his Melbourne Cup defeat with an emphatic win in the group two Zipping Classic at Sandown.
Owners Gerry Ryan and Kevin Bamford will now discuss with travelling foreman Stephanie Nigge the option of targeting next month's Hong Kong Vase (2400m), with a decision to be made on Sunday.
Jockey Gerald Mosse flew from Hong Kong to ride Americain on Saturday and was thrilled with his three-quarter length win over English stayer Manighar and Mourayan in the five-horse weight-for-age race over 2400m.
Mosse said he felt the disappointment of Australia when Americain could finish only fourth in the Melbourne Cup after winning the race in last year and the Moonee Valley Cup last month. "It is good to come back like that," Mosse said after Americain's success.
"This horse is a bit special for me. He makes me famous in all Australia.
"In the Melbourne Cup, everybody felt sad about him but the weight was a bit heavy for him over two miles, he was back to the end and the ground was a bit firm for him."
Mosse said trainer Alain de Royer-Dupre gave him free rein on how to ride Americain in the Zipping and he had him placed second last outside Lamasery who was at the tail of the field.
Mourayan, who was scratched from the Melbourne Cup because of a foot problem, made a slow pace in the lead ahead of Manighar and the other English stayer in the field, Saptapadi.
Mosse said he was prepared for the slow pace but was mindful that Americain's lack of acceleration could have left him vulnerable for a home-straight sprint.
"From the 400m to the 300m he has a flat spot and I have to respect him," Mosse said. "I just showed him my whip to say: 'You better go now because if not I am going to use it'.
"Then he toots his engine horn and in three strides he comes next to them and I know the game is over."
Americain joined the leaders at the 200m and Mosse eased him down on the line for a soft win.
Bamford said there were a number of options for Americain to discuss, including Hong Kong and Dubai missions or Sydney's group one double of the Ranvet Stakes and The BMW.
He said Nigge was an important part of any decision to do with the Americain.
"She has got the secret to the horse," Bamford said.
"She is training the horse and without Stephanie I wonder if the horse would be as good. The key to it all is to keep Stephanie happy."
Nigge said she would be prepared to stay in Australia if she was asked to look after Americain.
"I would stay," she said.
"I was a bit worried when there was no real pace in the race today but the final straight is very long and up the hill and he did it well at the end."
Bamford said Americain was most unlikely to return to Europe to race and if he did leave Australia and run in Hong Kong or Dubai he would "certainly be coming back".
A stud career in Australia is being considered for the entire but Bamford said that while Americain was racing so well there was no intention to retire him.
"When the horse is ready to retire he is going to tell us," he said.
Travelling foreman Charlie Henson said the Luca Cumani-trained Manighar was brave in defeat.
"We were always running for second and what was good is that he fought back and got past Mourayan," Henson said.
* Warrnambool father-and-son co-trainers Bill and Symon Wilde landed their biggest success when So Swift scored a surprise win in the group two Sandown Guineas thanks to a masterly ride by Craig Williams.
Bill Wilde, who combines being a dentist with training, bought the Barely A Moment gelding for $40,000 at the Adelaide Yearling Sale.
Sent out at $19, So Swift settled midfield but got the bob in right on the line to score by a nose from Niagara ($7) with Galah ($3.60 fav) just a short half-head away third.
"When we drew a good gate [barrier two] and got Craig Williams' services we thought we'd have a shot at the stumps," Simon Wilde said.
So Swift was coming off a first-up win in a Hamilton maiden (1300m) on October 31 but had run fourth to Euryale in the Gibson Carmichael Stakes (1600m) at Flemington in May before going out for a spell.