Elephant thriving after short spell

Elephant winning the Group 3 Sandown Stakes (1500m). Photo: Bruno Cannatelli

Following a pleasing Melbourne spring campaign, Elephant has returned to work in good fettle ahead of a return trip across the Tasman.

The David and Emma-Lee Browne-trained gelding is being set for a tilt at the AUD$5million All-Star Mile (1600m) at Flemington on March 19.

The son of Shocking won two of his five starts in Australia in spring, including the Group 3 Sandown Stakes (1500m), and placed in the Group 2 Feehan Stakes (1600m) and Group 2 Crystal Mile (1600m).

David Browne, who accompanied Elephant to Victoria during the spring, has been pleased with the way his charge has returned.

“He’s put on a lot of weight,” Browne told Racing.com.

“He’s a lot heavier than he’s been and he’s really well. He was looking for a spell and he spelled very well.

“He looks really good and should be able to keep his condition this time in.

“I’ll just see how he comes up as to whether he comes straight over there at the end of February.

“There are border restrictions to get over but at the moment, we are looking at coming over in February after we get a trial into him here.

“He’s a pretty popular horse, so we hope he can get the votes to get in.”

Fellow Kiwi-bred Probabeel is also being set for the rich feature.

The daughter of Savabeel won the Group 1 Might And Power (2000m) at Caulfield in October, her fourth elite-level victory, and trainer Jamie Richards has set his sights on the All-Star Mile with the Brendan and Jo Lindsay-raced mare.

“Probabeel is headed towards The All-Star Mile and she’ll follow a similar sort of program to what she did last autumn – Geoffrey Bellmaine (Group 3, 1200m), Futurity Stakes (Group 1, 1400m) and maybe end up in Sydney in something like the Coolmore (Legacy) (Group 1, 1600m),” Richards said.

Nominations for the All-Star Mile at Flemington close on January 10, with the AUD$500 entry fees all given to the Good Friday Appeal.

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