The Robert Hickmott-trained, Lloyd Williams-owned Melbourne Spring Carnival-bound Mourayan showed true grit to hold on and take out the 2012 Craven Plate at Royal Randwick’s Epsom Handicap Day this afternoon.
The imported Alhaarth seven-year-old proved they had bucket-loads of determination and promise heading towards the majors in Melbourne to win a tough edition of the $125,000 Group 3 Craven Plate (2000m).
Winner of the Listed The Bart Cummings (2500m) in Victoria on this day last year before going on to run second to Glass Harmonium in the Group 1 Mackinnon Stakes (2000m) at Flemington on Victoria Derby Day, this year Mourayan looks set for a big Spring Cups campaign.
They are entered for both the $2.65 million Group 1 Caulfield Cup (2400m) on October 20 and the $6.2 million Group 1 Melbourne Cup (3200m) on the first Tuesday of November, and are sure to firm in the bookmaker.com.au markets for both events after their gritty Epsom Day win.
Third-up for the season Mourayan was well liked in the Craven Plate markets jumping the $2.50 favourite after their eye-catching second to Lamasery last time out over the track and distance in the Group 2 Hill Stakes.
They settled into second in the Craven soon after jumping letting the Gai Waterhouse-trained Herculian Prince roll along to lead in a slick pace.
While the likes of Maules Creek and Ginga Dude settled just off the pace, Mourayan stuck close to the leader with the top two speeding right away to put a big gap on the rest of the field coming into the turn.
On the outside Mourayan never stopped coming as Herculian Prince’s Nathan Berry jockey went for the whip.
The eventual winner wouldn’t go away however even when Western Symbol and Maules Creek started to really run on with 200-metres to go.
Mourayan kept fighting and won the Craven by the bob of a head over an impressive Nash Rawiller-ridden Western Symbol ($5.50) who needed the run today and who will improve going forward.
The Bart Cummings-trained import Dare To Dream ($10), having just their second run down under, meanwhile also run a beauty to finish a further long neck away third having come from last, jockey James McDonald weaving their way to run a placing after not being able to find a passage earlier.
It was a deserved win for Mourayan however who did the hard work being right here on top of the electric speed throughout to put the pressure on and give it their all.
“A very good win, very happy with the horse,” part-owner Vince Sammartino said.
“He’s tough, and we know he’s tough.”
And as for a shot at the Caulfield and Melbourne Cups?
“Hopefully, I’ll leave that with Lloyd and Nick to sort out,” Sammartino said.
One person that will be gunning for a cups campaign is jockey Hugh Bowman who was thrilled with the horse’s performance today.
“2000-metres is short of his best distance…he’s a genuine staying type…I really put the pressure on him,” Bowman said.
“When they could only get within half a length of me I thought it is going to take a good one to beat him because he fights like a caged dog and he’s just such a joy to ride.”
Check out the official 2012 APN Outdoor Craven Plate finishing order and results in the table below.
Ready to get in on the next at Randwick today? Visit the country’s leading online bookie bookmaker.com.au now and open a new account, it only takes a couple of minutes, quoting the promo code BONUSBET to also unlock your $400 bonus welcome bet!
2012 Craven Plate Results & Finishing Order
Royal Randwick Race 5 – 2:40pm – 06/10/2012
|1||2||MOURAYAN (IRE)||Robert Hickmott||Hugh Bowman||–||9||59kg||$2.50F|
|2||7||WESTERN SYMBOL (NZ)||Gai Waterhouse||Nash Rawiller||0.2L||6||59kg||$5.50|
|3||10||DARE TO DREAM (IRE)||Bart Cummings||James McDonald||0.6L||7||59kg||$10|
|4||11||LESS IS MORE (FR)||David Vandyke||Peter Robl||2L||3||59kg||$10|
|5||8||MAULES CREEK||John P Thompson||Jim Cassidy||2.3L||2||59kg||$17|
|6||4||CLASS IS CLASS (IRE)||Chris Waller||Glyn Schofield||4.1L||8||59kg||$5|
|7||6||HERCULIAN PRINCE (NZ)||Gai Waterhouse||Nathan Berry||5L||4||59kg||$31|
|8||9||GAZZA GURU||Stephen Farley||Brenton Avdulla||5.4L||5||59kg||$51|
|9||3||GINGA DUDE (NZ)||Graeme Boyd||Blake Shinn||10.6L||1||59kg||$20|
|–||1||RANGIRANGDOO (NZ)||Chris Waller||Corey Brown||–||0||–||–|
|–||5||SEVILLE (GER)||Robert Hickmott||–||–||0||–||–|