A good barrier draw will assist Champagne...
Viking Hero comes into the race after running a tight second in his lead up event and after drawing gate two he’ll be one of the favourites.
Also in the field is Tinseltown which hasn’t run since he fell when running at Group 1 level in the Sydney Cup.
Obviously he consider Viking Hero to be his best chance but with such an even field, simply having two runners is a huge advantage.
“Viking Hero has the residual fitness advantage over Tinseltown,” Moroney said.
“I was very pleased with Viking Hero’s run last start and he only went under narrowly.
“He’s trained on well which is the encouraging thing with him.”
In the Chairman’s Handicap at Doomben two weeks ago Viking Hero lost in a photo to Humma but he meets him on better terms this week.
Not only does has Humma received a 3kgs extra to his 2kgs, he also gets an extra 180m in distance.
Crucially as well Humma drew out in the car park, gate 16.
As for Tinseltown, no one really knows how he’ll come back from a fall so it’ll be a case of wait and see what happens.
“Tinseltown hasn’t started since having that fall in the Sydney Cup and he’s a backmarker so he’ll need some luck,” he said.
“But we went into the Sydney Cup with some confidence but unfortunately he struck a heel and came down.
“It looked a nasty fall but he recovered well and was only a little shaken. Luckily he didn’t suffer any serious injuries.”
Viking Hero ventured to Queensland as a three-year-old but struggled in the Rough Habit and the Grand Prix so never made Group 1 level in the Derby.
In fact his overall career record isn’t that pretty with just the two wins but his last start indicates he’s coming into career best form.
Moroney believes he’s been unlucky in a few of his runs and providing they get a dry track in Doomben he should be a much better horse.
He says you can pretty much scratch his Queen Elizabeth run from the form guide.
“He drew the outside in the Queen Elizabeth and couldn’t run on in the heavy going after getting too far back,” he said.
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