Moody Eyes Melbourne Cup 2012 for Vatuvei

Premier Melbourne horseman Peter Moody’s immediate focus may be on getting his mighty mare Black Caviar to England’s Royal Ascot in one piece, but he is also looking further ahead to the iconic 2012 Melbourne Cup for one of his up-and-comers Vatuvei.


The Peter Moody-trained Manighar is the early 2012 Melbourne Cup betting favourite

While the undefeated queen Black Caviar has 20 straight wins to her name, including 10 Group 1’s and counting, three-year-old Reset gelding Vatuvei has just half of these but is showing Moody plenty of promise.

From their nine starts to date the progressive youngster has two wins including their last start victory in the Listed VRC St Leger (2800m) at Flemington on Anzac Day.

The St Leger win was a cracker too considering the hot pace for a Heavy (8) track, Vatuvei getting home one and a quarter lengths clear of Practiced while About The Journey was a further 11 lengths away in third.

“He got there a bit too soon and he probably peaked on it a bit late,” Moody said of Vatuvei.

“But it was a good staying effort. He certainly loves the soft ground.

“He’s been a work in progress. We’ve been patient, let him come along at his own speed and it’s nice to see it come to fruition.”

Over the years the VRC St Leger has served a decent betting guide to Australia’s number one horse race and the world’s richest handicap – the $6 million Group 1 Emirates Melbourne Cup (3200m).

It is the Melbourne Cup at Flemington on the first Tuesday of November that Moody quietly hopes Vatuvei will gain a start in this Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival, but with the St Leger downgraded in recent years and the imports dominating Melbourne Cup calculations it isn’t going to be an easy road.

Moody knows the horse has a way to go before making the Melbourne Cup field but the masterful trainer believes it is more than just a pipe dream for the promising stayer who is now fully qualified for the ‘race that stops a nation’.

“You never know with these staying horses,” Moody said.

“At least we know he can stay.”

Futures Melbourne Cup odds are already available to the punters at with Moody’s star import Manighar topping the markets at $18.

Formerly prepared in Europe by Luca Cumani, Manighar has been a revelation for Moody’s reputation as not just trainer of sprinters and mares.

Since joining Moody’s operation Linamix grey Manighar has won four of their six starts including the Australian Cup – Ranvet Stakes – The BMW triple.

They were last seen running second behind runaway winner More Joyous in the Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2000m) on Sydney Cup Day but are tipped to come back stronger in the spring going up to the two miles.

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