The talented Michael Moroney-trained import Glass Harmonium won their first race in Australia today, the big majestic grey outclassing their rivals in the Eagle Farm Cup and setting up a scintillating spring carnival campaign.
With Kiwi-based hoop Lisa Cropp replacing Hugh Bowman for the ride on the Verglas five-year-old, as expected Glass Harmonium won the battle from the barriers to take up a daring front-running position in the $250,000 Group 2 Eagle Farm Cup (2200m).
With just six rivals to out-stay, Glass Harmonium held strong and was never really threatened when winning their third run down under.
After a close second to fellow star import My Kingdom Of Fife on May 7 at the Gold Coast and then another gallant run when unluckily finishing third to Scenic Shot in the Group 1 Doomben Cup, Moroney always knew that three runs in against a small field would make Glass Harmonium very hard to beat today.
On the line it was Glass Harmonium saluting as the favourite, two and a half lengths clear of the John Wallace-trained Gold Coast galloper Shoot Out, who had a lovely run on the fence throughout, while Doomben Cup winner Scenic Shot held on for third.
It was a brave run by Scenic Shot who didn’t begin well, jockey Shane Scriven the only hoop to take his ride up on the outside today.
Victorian-based Moroney was very pleased with the win and the ride by Cropp.
“She (Cropp) got him to the front, nice and relaxed,” he said.
“He got up to the line really well.
“I thought that he relaxed pretty good, was breathing properly and doing everything right.”
The victory, Glass Harmonium’s first for Moroney and fifth in their now 15-start career, indicated to his trainer he would be a genuine chance in the Melbourne Spring Carnival features next season.
“He’s Group 1 class,” Moroney said.
“He’s done a great job.”
For his next run, Moroney is considering backing Glass Harmonium up next Saturday at Eagle Farm’s Stradbroke Handicap Day in the $300,000 Group 2 Brisbane Cup (2400m).
“We’re still tossing whether we run in the Brisbane Cup,” Moroney said after today’s win.
“It (the Brisbane Cup) does serve as a bit of a qualifier for the Melbourne Cup.”
Moroney said he was also starting to think of Glass Harmonium as more suited to the conditions and distance of the Group 1 Caulfield Cup (2400m) in October as opposed to the original aim of the prestigious Group 1 Cox Plate (2040m), the weight-for-age showdown running at Moonee Valley a fortnight later.
“I’m starting to think he’s more of a Caulfield Cup horse than a Cox Plate horse,” Moroney said.
Winning jockey Cropp cheekily suggested that it was a ‘woman’s touch’ that gave Glass Harmonium the winning edge today.
“Look at him, he’s a Barbie doll horse, he’s got girl written all over him,” Cropp said.
Cropp also said the horse appreciated the little bit of give in the ground at Eagle Farm today and hinted at more good things to come.
“The way he got to the line, I reckon he’s got more left,” she said.