Newcastle trainer Kris Lees has made another quick trip to Werribee to check on the progress of his Caulfield and Melbourne Cup hope Mustajeer.
While liking what Mustajeer is showing, Lees was taken with the work of fellow Australian Bloodstock-owned Torcedor who is being prepared solely for the Melbourne Cup.
Torcedor is now in the care of Paul Preusker and will transfer to the trainer’s Horsham base once he clears quarantine at Werribee on Saturday.
Preusker also has Surprise Baby in the Melbourne Cup on November 5 after the stayer won a ballot exemption with his win in the Bart Cummings at Flemington last Saturday.
Damien Oliver, who rides Mustajeer in the Caulfield Cup, partnered the stayer for the first time at Werribee on Wednesday where he was joined by Jordan Childs on Torcedor.
“He (Oliver) said he worked well but to be honest I thought Torcedor worked a little better than him,” Lees said.
“He sat off us and worked with him to the line.
“He’s a highly credentialled horse too but a little bit out of form and whether he brings that to races I’m not sure.
“They both worked well. It was good solid work.”
Mustajeer, winner of the Ebor at York in August, arrived in Melbourne on September 28 and will leave the Werribee quarantine centre on Saturday, transferring across town to Lees’ Melbourne base, the Caulfield stables of Clinton McDonald.
Lees plans giving Mustajeer a gallop at Caulfield on Tuesday to finalise his Caulfield Cup preparation.
“We’re in with a live chance I feel, he’s coming out of the right form race and he’s settled into Australia quite well,” Lees said.
“He worked well, he’s very clean-winded, he’s a fit horse and in terrific order.
“There’s still a lot to play out but I’m pleased with how he’s going.”