This preparation as a rising eight-year-old has been Auvray at his best. Freedman admitted he was surprised when he sprinted away with Sky High Stakes at 2000m, and then was pleased with the way he closed off the Tancred Stakes when only 2-1/2 lengths from Almandin in sixth.
“He has quite a good sprint for a stayer, and in the Tancred he ran the fastest last 800 and 600m. He can hold his speed and he is as fit as I have had him going into this race,” Freedman said.
“I think the trip will suit. If they run it like a European staying test, it will suit him even more. He drops six kilos into the race and that is a big advantage.”
Auvray hasn't been over two miles since his day in France, and Freedman has one more ace up his sleeve. He has discovered jockey Glyn Schofield has the knack with Auvray. He has been in the saddle for all three wins, and will ride a kilo over his 52kg handicap in the Sydney Cup.
“The extra kilo will be offset by Auvray liking him. That is sort of important with this horse,” Freedman said. “Like I said, he only does what he wants and he has to like you. He likes Glyn."