On Wednesday Michael Moroney’s up-and-coming Victorian youngster Ali Vital locked in a Queensland Derby 2013 start for Saturday week’s Stradbroke Handicap Day with a blistering win at Doomben.
The Yamanin Vital gelding broke their maiden status at career start number five at the start of the month when taking out a three-year-olds maiden over 1700m at Warrnambool by two lengths.
Proving they could handle a better class of rivals and more distance yesterday Ali Vital posted their second win on the trot this time beating home Paraggi by three lengths in a 2200m handicap.
That effort was enough to convince the Flemington-based Moroney that Ali Vital was a genuine staying type and that they would relish the mile and a half of the $500,000 Group 1 Queensland Derby (2400m) at Eagle Farm on June 8.
“That’s what he’s up here for,” Moroney said.
“You are only three once and he’s a real stayer.”
For their big win as the favourite at Brisbane’s midweek meet Ali Vital was ridden by top hoop Chris Munce for the first time who made the suggestion to Moroney that they could benefit from the addition of blinkers to their gear.
It is a recommendation that Moroney will opt not to take for the Derby however as it will be the horse’s first run over the 2400m.
“Chris said at some stage he may need blinkers but I won’t put them on in the Derby,” Moroney said.
“It will be his first go at a mile-and-a-half so I’ll be leaving them off for that race.
“But at some stage in the future they’ll more than likely be going on.
“Chris said it took a while for him to get going and when he got into the clear he went from travelling to not knowing what do.
“He’s still learning but, by the same token, he’s winning which is the main thing.”
Moroney is confident that Ali Vital will only continue to get better the more he runs and that while they are still green, a Group 1 Derby win is only possible while they are the age they are now.
“There’s not much of him and he never carries a lot of condition but he’s only going to get better and better,” he said.
“They’re only three once and the owners were keen to get him up here and have a go at the Derby.”
The latest Queensland Derby odds are led by Kiwi raider Survived ($3.40) while Ali Vital is still rated a juicy $41 despite yesterday’s win.
That price is unlikely to last however making now the perfect time to back Ali Vital, one of 33 first Queensland Derby acceptances, for the win.
Moroney will also be represented in the Queensland Derby field by the current $5 third favourite Rhythm To Spare who proved a genuine chance when second to Hawkspur, $4.20 second pick for the Group 1, in the Group 3 Grand Prix Stakes (2200m) at Doomben last Saturday.
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