Lindsay Park import to kick-off at The Valley with sights on Caulfield Cup, Cox Plate

Lindsay Park will learn more about imported galloper Sissoko after he makes his Australian debut at Moonee Valley.

A veteran of three starts in Ireland, Sissoko was purchased for a future career in Hong Kong, but after failing to settle into the Asian environment he was sent to Australia to continue his career.

Sissoko will kick-off for new trainers Ben, Will and J d Hayes in the Xtreme Freight Handicap (2040m) at The Valley on Saturday.

The son of Australia commenced his career in Ireland with Donnacha O’Brien before finding his way to Hong Kong, where after showing little in four trials, he was sent to Lindsay Park.

“He was purchased by a very good client of ours over the years Edmund Lee who has raced good horses here like Redkirk Warrior and Harlem,” Ben Hayes said.

“He was bought to go to Hong Kong, but Hong Kong’s environment didn’t suit him, so he was brought back to us.

“He’s had a few trials and jump-outs and looks a staying type of horse, so we’ll kick him off over 2000 metres on Saturday.

“He will probably need the run as he hasn’t raced for a long time, but he looks to have some nice ability and I think you’ll see the best of him when he gets out over further.”

Sissoko won a maiden two-year-old race over 1800m at The Curragh in October 2021 and has not raced since finishing second to Luxembourg in a Group 1 race at Doncaster later that month.

Luxembourg features among nominations for the 2023 Caulfield Cup and Cox Plate for Aidan O’Brien while Sissoko is an entrant for the Caulfield Cup.

Hayes said Sissoko appears an ideal 2400m and further type of horse and the stable is encouraged by the form the gelding has shown.

“We’ve put him in the Caulfield Cup, but at this stage we’re keeping our options open,” Hayes said.

“He needs to be winning and be impressive to be heading to those races, but I think he’ll be a good 2400-metre horse and possibly further again.

“I think he has a really good engine, so that is why we thought we would kick him off over 2000 metres.

“He’s had three trials, a couple of good hit-outs at home, but I think he might need the run and we’ll have to see if he handles The Valley, but it’s a good race to kick him off in.”

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