As the European stayers take aim at the Melbourne Cup, master trainer Bart Cummings is eyeing other options for German import Illo.
The trainer of 12 Melbourne Cup winners, Cummings believes the lightly framed horse's race manners are against him over 3200 metres and he is looking at middle distance races for the seven-year-old.
Illo has been in Australia for almost a year and ran a tiring 19th of 23 in the 2011 Cup at his second start for Cummings after coming third in the Moonee Valley Cup (2500m).
The best result from his five autumn starts was a second to Lucas Cranach in the Group Two St George Stakes (1800m).
"He pulls too hard in staying races but I think in a fast-run mile (1600m) he wouldn't pull as hard," Cummings said.
"He will be entered for all the big races and we'll see what happens.
"But unless he learns to settle early in his races, he won't be effective.
"He will start off in a sprint race in Melbourne later this month."
Illo is in residence at Cummings' Melbourne stable, Saintly Place, alongside former American Sanagas who is being aimed at the Cup.
"He's done well since he's been here," Cummings said.
"He will probably take a traditional path in the spring and start off in the 1400 metre race at Caulfield."
Cummings hasn't seen a lot of Sanagas but one horse he is familiar with, and one whose origins are closer to home.
The talented but enigmatic Precedence will also embark on his third Cup campaign later in the month.
The seven-year-old has been unplaced in the Cup for the past two years but Cummings is optimistic.
"This just might be his year," he said.
Precedence could also start out in the P B Lawrence Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield on August 18.
A son of super sire Zabeel, Precedence's owners include Sir Patrick Hogan who stands the stallion at Cambridge Stud, Dato Tan Chin Nam and the Dowager Duchess of Bedford who has had a long time interest in New Zealand racing.
Along with the older brigade, Cummings has some up and coming three-year-olds including Norzita, an impressive Rosehill winner at her second of two starts.
"She will be nominated for the big fillies races and we'll see how she goes," he said.
Entries for the Caulfield Cup, Cox Plate, Thousand Guineas and Caulfield Guineas will be announced on Tuesday.