Ozzie Kheir is confident that Spanish Mission can get off the mark in Australia when the star stayer lines up in Saturday's Group 1 Australian Cup at Flemington.
The big-spending owner bought into the gelding after a third place finish in last season's Melbourne Cup when trained by Andrew Balding, and Kier believes he can recoup some of his purchase price when Spanish Mission goes to post for the 2000-metre contest as a 19/5 chance. You can follow the action via our Sports Live Streaming platform.
Now trained by Peter Moody, Spanish Mission finished third first-up in the Carlyon Cup over 1600 metres at Caulfield last month and Kheir feels that the UK import is set to run a big race now stepping back up to a more suitable trip
"I think we've learned a bit about him," Kheir told Racing.com. "We went first-up not knowing much about him, but I think if we ride him the way he would prefer to be ridden with him on-pace, rolling forward and building and not letting it become a sit-sprint, then he'll be seen at his best.
"He's a world-class stayer and there is no reason why he can't perform at that level.
"We are really excited by him and I think we'll get a good showing from him.
"I think he would be high in the market in any big staying race throughout the world."
Spanish Mission, who has so far picked up more than $2.75million in prize-money courtesy of his six wins in 21 starts, will jump from barrier ten under James McDonald in the 12-runner contest.