A strong field has been announced for the Group 2 2012 Moonee Valley Gold Cup (2500m) which will take place on Cox Plate day at Moonee Valley this weekend.
Otherwise known as the Drake International Cup, eleven horses will contest the event including Gerald Ryan-trained veteran Ironstein.
The seven-year-old who has won eight times from 44 starts has threatened without breaking through so far this spring, showing promise in four starts.
After finishing fourth first-up at Rosehill he has since run fifth in the Kingston Town Stakes, third in the JRA Cup and fourth in the Herbert Power Stakes.
Only one horse in the field has recorded victory so far this spring, with Bart Cummings’ precedence winning the Adapt Australia Handicap at Moonee Valley last month.
But the seven-year-old has not shown anything since the win, finishing 10th in the JRA Cup and sixth in the Herbert Power Stakes.
A horse who will appreciate the step up to 2500 metres is the Peter Moody-trained Vatuvei who won the VRC St Leger (2800m) in April.
He finished third in the Gold Nugget at Ballarat last month but struggled in the Cranbourne Cup when finishing eight lengths off the pace in fifth.
Shenzhou Steeds signalled plenty of promise during a winter campaign in Queensland when winning the Ipswich Cup and Caloundra Cup but has failed to show similar form this spring and is so far unplaced from three starts.
Other runners in the Moonee Valley Gold Cup include Metropolitan third placegetter Reuben Percival and the Luca Cumani-trained Ibicenco.
Moonee Valley Gold Cup 2012 – Final Field and Barrier Draw
|No||Last 10||Horse||Trainer||Jockey||Barrier||Weight||Hcp Rating|
|1||9x6908x900||UNUSUAL SUSPECT (USA)||Michael Kent||Brad Rawiller||3||58kg||103|
|2||74277×4106||PRECEDENCE (NZ)||Bart Cummings||James McDonald||9||57kg||104|
|3||55121×0795||RIALYA||Lloyd Kennewell||Damien Oliver||8||57kg||99|
|4||08230×4534||IRONSTEIN||Gerald Ryan||Brenton Avdulla||5||56.5kg||101|
|5||x91611x648||SHENZHOU STEEDS (NZ)||Michael Moroney||Kerrin McEvoy||7||56.5kg||100|
|6||41x089x300||MOUDRE||Ciaron Maher||Craig Williams||4||56kg||103|
|7||521315×539||REUBEN PERCIVAL (NZ)||Gai Waterhouse||Nash Rawiller||10||56kg||98|
|8||8x32x42x7x||IBICENCO (GER)||Luca Cumani||Craig Newitt||6||55kg||100|
|9||38x5x00074||MIDAS TOUCH (GB)||Robert Hickmott||Hugh Bowman||11||55kg||105|
|10||403164×920||FICTIONAL ACCOUNT (IRE)||David Hayes||Chad Schofield (a)||1||54.5kg||95|
|11||583125×038||VATUVEI||Peter G Moody||Luke Nolen||2||54kg||82|