Group 1 prediction for Pilote D’Essai

British-bred stayer Pilote D’Essai (GB) will be set for the G1 Australian Cup (2000m) in March after an exciting finale to his first proper preparation in Australia.

The Lindsay Park-trained import has won the LR Ballarat Cup (2200m) and LR Pakenham Cup (2500m) at his past two starts prompting David Hayes to predict he can reach far greater heights.

"We will give him a month in the paddock and get him ready for a nice race in the autumn like the (G1) Australian Cup or (G2) Peter Young Stakes,” Hayes said on Monday.  “I think he will be a very reliable horse at 2000 metres and beyond.

"He's got the class of a horse like Spillway (GB) who we imported to win last year’s Australian Cup.”

Pilote d’Essai (5g Oasis Dream - Plante Rare by Giant’s Causeway) was purchased by Astute Bloodstock (FBAA) agent Louis Le Metayer for 230,000gns at the 2015 Tattersalls HIT Sale.  He changed hands shortly after winning his third race for Ballymore Thoroughbreds at Saint-Cloud last September.

Plante Rare is also the dam of G1 Prix Ganay winner Planteur (Danehill Dancer) and she is a half-sister to the stakes winners Policy Maker (Sadler’s Wells), Pushkin (Caerleon) and Place Rouge (Desert King).

The immediate family includes G1 Arc de Triomphe winner Peintre Celebre (Nureyev).

"He showed us all the ability that he really has at Ballarat and Pakenham,” Le Metayer said.  “Thanks to Mark Pilkington (FBAA) and all the owners Peter Devitt, Craig & Russell Gordon, Darren Thomas, Peter Katelanis & Tom Payne for embracing our recommendation to buy the horse in England.”

Federation of Bloodstock Agents Australia (FBAA) was formed in 1998 to maintain, improve and develop the standards, status and services of bloodstock agents throughout Australia.  Its members operate with the utmost integrity and professionalism and are bound by the strict Industry Code of Conduct.

The list of FBAA members can be found here.