Renowned businessman and thoroughbred owner John Singleton has indicated that his recently crowned NSW Horse of the Year More Joyous is close to resuming and will target the 2011 Myer Classic during the Melbourne Cup Carnival this spring.
Sydney’s star mare, the Gai Waterhouse-trained More Joyous, capped off a scintillating 2010-11 season on the turf that included four Group One victories by collecting the NSW Horse of the Year award.
It was a season that included much glory but that ended on a low note with More Joyous injuring herself and pulling up lame after her 11th place finish behind Sacred Choice in the Group 1 Doncaster Mile (1600m) at Randwick back on April 16.
Connections are confident, however, that the five-year-old is close to race fitness and can make a successful return to the track this spring carnival.
Singleton said that More Joyous could be given an official trail as soon as next Friday, the ace mare coming into ace condition.
“She has put on 70 kilograms since last campaign,” Singleton said.
“It is the first time I’ve honestly really been happy with the way she has looked.”
Twelve months ago More Joyous dominated in her spring assignments in both Sydney and Melbourne winning three straight stakes races early including the Group 1 George Main Stakes (1600m) at Randwick.
She travelled to Victoria and continued her purple patch to take out the Group 1 Toorak Handicap (1600m) at Caulfield in October before continuing on to run a gallant fifth beaten just over four lengths by dual champion So You Think in the iconic Group 1 Cox Plate (2040m) at Moonee Valley.
This year Singleton and Waterhouse are eyeing a slightly different campaign and prize with More Joyous, her main aim being the $500,000 Group 1 Myer Classic (1600m) at Flemington on Victoria Derby Day, Saturday October 29.
“She is a month behind the eight-ball so I think the Cox Plate is out of the question,” Singleton said.
“We still have her in the race, if it falls away dramatically and she is flying we might have a look but I wouldn’t be diving in and backing her just yet.”
While the $3 million Cox Plate at Moonee Valley on October 22 is unlikely, Singleton did say that following the spring they would give More Joyous the chance to defend her title in Group 1 races including the Futurity Stakes during the autumn next year.
“We will just have a light spring and then a red-hot go in the autumn and hopefully Peter Moody will bring his horse up (Black Caviar) to race us in the All Aged Stakes,” he said.
The $400,000 Group 1 All Aged Stakes (1400m) is scheduled to run at Royal Randwick on April 28, 2012, the same meeting More Joyous won the Queen Elizabeth Stakes at this year.
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