Distance rise suits former French galloper

Trainer Matt Cumani has been impressed with the improvement former French galloper Sous Les Nuages has made as he stretches deeper into his second Australian campaign.

Sous Les Nuages runs in the Banjo Patterson Series Plate (2000m) at Flemington on Saturday after pleasing his trainer with his first-up run over a shorter trip at that track last month.

The Irish-bred galloper who did all his racing in France before arriving in Australia more than 12 months ago as a two-time winner, did not set the world on fire at his first campaign for Cumani.

And Cumani is expecting further improvement when Sous Les Nuages steps out further in journey.

“I liked his first-up run and he’s shown good improvement from his first prep,” Cumani said.

“I think it did work very well for him last time. The 2000 metres, this weekend, is probably still too short for him and we would need to rely on a solid tempo to see a repeat performance.

“But I’m hoping he’s improved enough to perform well, but I think he’s one that it will be 2500 (metres) before we really see him getting warmed up.”

Cumani said Sous Les Nuages’ first campaign had been a mess.

He said the stayer had not fully acclimatised to Australian conditions in his three unplaced runs, although he was not an unhealthy-looking animal.

“He’s always been good in the coat and he’s a very enthusiastic type,” Cumani said.

“I’m hoping this second prep will see him keep on improving.

“It’s a good time to have him racing while he’s still at this rating in winter and hopefully we can build into something that will take us into the spring.”

Cumani said the Heavy 8 rating, which may improve into the soft range by Saturday with fine, but cold weather forecast, may play into Sous Les Nuages hands.

“It might bring out his stamina a bit more,” Cumani said.

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