Peter Moody is confident that he has Spanish Mission in good order after his first-up placing in the Group 3 Carlyon Cup, reporting that he had 'ticked over' nicely since that outing.
The son of Noble Mission is a 13/2 chance for the Australian Cup and no longer sits atop of the market, but Moody could not be happier with the six-year-old.
Saturday's 2000-metre event will be the third start in Australia for Spanish Mission after he produced an excellent debut performance to be third in last year's Melbourne Cup.
"He's in really good order," Moody said. "I've just kept him ticking over. He's just one of those clean-winded, naturally athletic European stayers you don't have to do a lot with.
"He's ticked over really well since that run at a mile."
The Carlyon Cup was the shortest race Spanish Mission has contested in his 21-start career that features six wins, including the Group 2 Doncaster Cup, Group 2 Yorkshire Cup, and the Belmont Derby Invitational when trained in the UK by Andrew Balding.
Spanish Mission had previously been top of the Australian Cup market after his Carlyon Cup reappearance but was removed by Think It Over last week following the news the Sydney-based galloper was heading south.
James Mcdonald will take over from Luke Nolen for the ride in the Australian Cup, a race Moody won with Manighar in 2012.