Orbec to kick off road to G1 Metropolitan

SYDNEY Aug 9 2016

Saturday will mark the start of the road for two of trainer John Thompson's spring staying hopes.

Orbec and Danjeu will line up in the Premier's Cup Prelude (1800m) at Rosehill, but Thompson says they will need the run to build fitness.

Orbec was fourth in last year's Group One Metropolitan and will follow the same path to this year's race at Randwick on October 1.

That campaign started at Rosehill over 1800m in August when Orbec finished 2nd before a third in the Wyong Gold Cup and second in Newcastle Gold Cup.

This will be the French import's second Australian campaign after a lengthy spell since being gelded at the end of his last preparation.

"Sometimes it can take a prep after that for them to come good," Thompson said.

"He's still a little bit fat but he trialled on Tuesday morning and went well."

Kerrin McEvoy rode him in the barrier trial and the jockey gets the mount on Saturday.

"Kerrin said the run on Saturday will obviously improve him but he's going well and he's in for a good prep," Thompson said.

Danjeu resumes in the same race on Saturday, with Thompson setting him on a similar path to his stablemate.

Formerly trained by Chris Waller, Danjeu has only beaten one runner home in two trials since joining Thompson's team.

But that's not out of the ordinary for the gelding.

"He's just a really one-paced stayer," Thompson said.

"He doesn't set the world on fire in his trials but hopefully once he gets over 2400 metres he'll come into his own.

Danjeu best performance came in the Listed Bagot Handicap (2800m) at Flemington on New Year's Day.

Thompson said he would look to test him in stakes grade again as he gets further into his preparation.

"We'll just head into the same sort of races as Orbec and we'll see how he goes."

Matt Coughlan - AAP

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