Chris Waller’s fillies dominate the nominations...
Peter Moody’s highly promising Queensland Derby winner Brambles has suffered a major setback and is unlikely to contest any of the spring features including what was their main aim, the 2012 Caulfield Cup in October.
The ultra-consistent Savabeel gelding has finished out of the top three in just one of their 10 career starts to date which have produced five wins for over $574,000 in prize money to date.
There has been plenty of hype surrounding their new season return as a four-year-old then after Brambles blitzed their Brisbane Winter Racing Carnival campaign in Queensland winning their last three races on the trot.
After two Group 3 victories at Doomben over 2000m and 2200m respectively they were stepped up to the 2400m for the first time on June 9 and handled it with ease winning the Group 1 Queensland Derby in fine style at Eagle Farm.
Brambles, along with a number of Moody’s other Queensland winter stars including Eagle Farm Cup – Brisbane Cup double winner Lights Of Heaven and top spring Cups fancy Manighar, stayed on in the sunshine state to spell in the warmer weather.
It was upon their return float trip from Brisbane to Sydney however that Brambles suffered severe travel sickness which will likely see them bypass the entire spring.
“The news on the horses at Eagle Farm had been all positive,” Moody said.
“The group had a nice break in Queensland and had stepped up to stronger work.
“Brambles was my Caulfield Cup horse.
“I did nominate him for the (Caulfield) Cup and the Cox Plate, but you would have to think now that is probably seriously not on the table.”
Should they bounce back sooner than expected they may get a chance to make their four-year-old debut at the end of the Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival.
“We’re probably looking at a more late-spring campaign,” Moody added.
“He has appeared to have recovered nicely, but experience suggests that we shouldn’t be getting too excited too quick.
“In saying that, he’s got a good fitness base, so I’m opened-minded about whether we see a lot of him in the spring.”
They will have already missed the majors then however including the $2.65 Group 1 BMW Caulfield Cup (2400m) on October 20 for which Brambles was one of 222 early nominations taken this week.
Moody is still sure to have a strong representation in the Caulfield Cup 2012 with the likes of his triple Group 1 winning import Manighar, and his VRC St Leger champ Vatuvei still heading towards the classic.
Reset four-year-old Vatuvei, last seen finishing fifth in the Queensland Derby, is one of the horses Moody is most looking forward to seeing come back this season and he has scheduled a barrier trial for them next week.
“He’s the one that has furnished and gone ahead,” Moody said.
“He was an immature horse last campaign, but he’s done super.”
“He arrived back with Manighar late last week, he looks fantastic and he’ll trial at Caulfield on Tuesday.”
In the latest Caulfield Cup odds however it is Lights Of Heaven who is the shortest-priced of Moody’s hopefuls occupying the third line of betting behind Anthony Freedman’s Doomben Cup winner Mawingo and the Lloyd Williams-owned Green Moon.
Lights Of Heaven is also Moody’s leading chance in the ‘race that stops a nation’, the $6.2 million Group 1 Emirates Melbourne Cup (3200m) at Flemington on the first Tuesday according to her trainer despite her juicy $51 price in the Melbourne Cup odds at bookmaker.com.au.
“Lights Of Heaven is my best Melbourne Cup hope,” Moody said of the mare who arrived in Sydney safe and sound today.
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