THE win of Chris Waller’s import My Kingdom Of Fife in the group 1 Queen Elizabeth Stakes at Randwick on Saturday might have highlighted the lack of middle-distance weight-for-age horses in Australia, but it seems unlikely to lead to a rush to import that type of horse.

OTI Racing’s Terry Henderson has been involved in bringing out many European stayers to Australia, including Melbourne Cup runner-up Bauer and Hugs Dancer, who ran in three Melbourne Cups as well as being sharp enough to win the group 2 Craiglee Stakes (1600 metres) at Flemington.

But he believes that despite My Kingdom Of Fife’s success, Australians will continue to concentrate on purchasing stayers with middle-distance pedigrees or racetrack performances.

 
‘‘We tend to think in the main they [imports] really have to get past 2000 metres before they become competitive,’’ Henderson said, adding that a bloodstock agent reminded him yesterday that My Kingdom Of Fife had been mentioned to OTI as a potential cups horse in 2009.

‘‘There are generally a lot of very good horses at 1600 to 2000 metres in Australia, but it’s when they get past 2000 metres that they seem to struggle, and that’s where the European horses come into play,’’ he said.

Even with the best credentials there are no guarantees the imported product will acclimatise and be competitive in local conditions, and for Henderson the odds of success are much more in favour of the stayers with greater stamina.

‘‘Chris [Waller] has had fantastic success with his imports, but even he had a disaster with Warringah, and we had Short Pause who was also a disaster, and ‘Freedy’ [Lee Freedman] had Doctor Fremantle.

‘‘It seems to be the more you pay for them the less likely you are to get a result.’‘

After the rush to buy imports last year to compete in the 150th Melbourne Cup, Henderson says the asking price of the imported product has risen about 25 per cent, making it even harder to get a result, given the limited number of opportunities to recoup such outlays through prizemoney.

Racing Victoria handicapper Greg Carpenter, while loath to dismiss the efforts of My Kingdom Of Fife, who has won his only two starts in Australia, says the six-year-old son of Kingmambo who cost 60,000 guineas at last year’s Tattersalls Autumn Horses In Training sale, might have been been in the right place at the right time.

‘‘He showed a lot of talent early on [in England] before losing his way,’’ Carpenter said. ‘‘It is hard to knock what he has done to date [in Australia], but on paper it [Queen Elizabeth Stakes] didn’t look a strong race and it was a very heavy track.’‘

Whether My Kingdom Of Fife could be competitive in races such as the Cox Plate is another thing, but Carpenter believes that given the lack of depth in our weight-for-age ranks, some European trainers are likely to be tempted to target the race in October.

‘‘With the way the Moonee Valley Racing Club are aggressively promoting the race overseas, and the apparent lack of depth [here] … I would not be surprised to see some trainers taking up the challenge this year.’‘