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3/12/2018 Pilote D’Essai aiming for second Pakenham Cup

A return to form by Pilote D'Essai (Oasis Dream) has Lindsay Park confident the gelding can land a second victory in the Pakenham Cup (Listed, 2500m). Pilote D'Essai won the 2016 Ballarat Cup (Listed, 2200m) before going on to take the Pakenham Cup at his next start and the gelding looks set to regain his crown in the Listed race on Saturday. The stable had high hopes for 2017 with Pilote D'Essai but after two autumn runs he was put on the injury list with a tendon strain. After 14 months Pilote D'Essai made his racetrack return but had moderate form through the winter and spring until a last-start second in the Ballarat Cup on November 24. "He's back in his zone and when he's in his zone he's pretty good," co-trainer David Hayes said. "I thought he was about to go well, and he did, but his fitness ran out in that tough testing ground late. If it was dry I'm sure he would have won. He goes well in the ground but he just wasn't fit enough."