Japanese imports heading towards the spring
FULL of expectations, Ozzie Kheir will head to the Werribee equine quarantine centre on Wednesday to watch his quintet of Japanese horses heading for the Melbourne spring.
He said Tosen Basil, Admire Robson and Cassius, who are heading to Darren Weir's stables, could feature in major races.
Leading the charge will be Tosen Basil, who Kheir has identified as a "top-three chance in the Caulfield and Melbourne cups".
"He finished third to Highland Reel in Hong Kong last year. That's the right form for a Caulfield Cup," Kheir said.
He said all of the horses had been in pre-training before they came to Australia.
Kheir has bought the quintet with fellow local owners Phil Mehrten, John O'Neill, Brett Carter and his brother Victor.
Yulong Investments has taken the major share of Tosen Basil and will run in its colours.
Kheir, a part-owner of 2012 Melbourne Cup winner Protectionist, said he studied the Japanese form and had a team watching for the right horses.
"Once we've identified them, then we've got to try and get them," he said.
Kheir is also excited about Admire Robson, stamping him as a future star.
"He's only a three-year-old. He's by Deep Impact, and it took a long time to prise him away from his owner," Kheir said.
"He's initially set for the Caulfield Cup, but he could end up in the Emirates Stakes. Whatever he does is a bonus for next year."
Kheir said Cassius could be a wildcard chance to gain a spot in The Everest.
"I think he'd be one of their best sprinters," he said. "His form is similar but better than Brave Smash's. He's a Group 3 winner in Japan and Group 2 placed. I'll let the horse do the talking."
Happy Moment and Danon Roman will be sent to Anthony Freedman.
Kheir has a powerful hand in the Melbourne Cup as he's also a part-owner of English stayer Marmelo and has a small share in King's Will Dream.
He said Marmelo would not have a start in Australia before the Melbourne Cup.
He also has another ex-Japanese galloper in Ambitious, who is with Freedman.
"I spoke to Anthony the other day," he said. "He was only 70 per cent right at his first Australian campaign but he's very happy with him now."