Avilius Stakes His Claim for Australian Cup
Mark Smith - Sunday February 10

Making his return to racing after being skittled on the first turn in the Melbourne Cup, Godolphin's import Avilius (GB) looked a long way off the finished article in the saddling paddock but he looked a million dollars at the finish of Saturday's Group III T S Carlyon Cup at Caulfield.

Ridden by Kerrin McEvoy, the James Cummings-trained gelding was eased back to the rear of the field early on and still had only two behind him on the home turn.

McEvoy found a narrow seam between runners and Avilius (GB) finished off strongly for a three-quarter length defeat of Sikandarabad (IRE) (Dr Fong) with Night's Watch (Redwood) the same distance back in third. (image Grant Courtney)

The 5yo son of Pivotal has now won five of his seven starts in Australia and Cummings said Peter Young Stakes at Caulfield on February 23 is likely to be his lead-up for the Australian Cup at Flemington on March 9.

"He enjoys his time in Melbourne," Cummings told AAP.

"I used the farm at Osborne Park to get the full benefit in getting him fit enough, but he does enjoy Carbine Lodge and the guys cherish him and look after him.

"He's a pretty serious horse and he's capable of graduating to weight-for-age and hopefully he's on an upwards spiral this campaign."

Previously trained in France by Andre Fabre, Avilius (GB) won a 2400m maiden at Chantilly and the Listed Prix de Suresnes (2000m) at Maisons-Laffitte. He also owns placings in the Group II Prix Eugene Adam and the Group II Prix Guillaume d'Ornano.

He landed in Australia in April last year and was gelded before continuing his career under James Cummings.

A brother to Group II Prix Guillaume d'Ornano winner Saint Baudolino, Avilius is out of the winning Sunday Silence mare Alessandria whose dam Tereshkova (Mr Prospector) is a sister to Group 1 Middle Park Stakes winner and one season shuttler Lycius (USA).