A solid recent trial by former French galloper Mobaco has boosted his new trainer's hopes he can finally return to something like his best European form.
After stints with Gai Waterhouse and Darren Weir, the OTI Racing-owned eight-year-old is with Matt Dunn at Murwillumbah and among the acceptors for Saturday's Programmed Property Services Open Hcp (1600m) at Eagle Farm.
Mobaco was a strong performer as a younger horse in France, winning seven of his first 18 starts including the Group Three Andre Baboin Stakes and Listed Coupe De Mars both over 2000m.
His Group Three victory in October 2012 was his last win and he was brought to Australia as a possible Cups horse.
Mobaco did not race for Waterhouse and failed to run a place in seven starts for Weir so OTI sent him to Dunn to give him a chance in weaker company in Queensland.
Dunn has had previous success for OTI with another former French stayer, Caillebotte, the winner of three races earlier this year.
"It is good to get horses for OTI and they are about to send me another one so I will have three for them," Dunn said.
"Mobaco seems to have settled in well. He showed early in his career that he had a turn of foot at the shorter distances and he has won first-up.
"He looks like 1600 to 2000 metres races will suit him well. But I am not making anybold predictions just yet."
Mobaco finished fourth of nine in a trial at Murwillumbah two weeks ago.
"The trial was won by one of my faster horses, Hanwritten, so it wasn't a bad effort," Dunn said.
Mobaco will also be entered for the Ballina Cup on Thursday week and Dunn will make a final decision on where to go on Friday.
He said the weather could play a part as Mobaco had won on wet tracks in Europe and probably his best Australian run was a fourth on soft going.
G3 - The Bet365 Classic Trial (class 1)
G3 - The Bet365 Gordon Richards Stakes (class 1)
G2 - The Bet365 Mile (class 1)
TG1 - Tattersalls Ireland Champion Novice Hdle
Grade A - Punchestown Novice H'cap Chase