The Doomben Cup 2018 takes centre stage in...
While the bulk of Victorian trainer Michael Moroney’s attention this Saturday will be focused on his two Group 1 Queensland Derby runners Rhythm To Spare and Ali Vital, he will also have one eye on the Brisbane Cup 2013 where he saddles up Shenzhou Steeds.
There were 26 horses nominated for this year’s $300,000 Group 2 Brisbane Cup (2400m), the classic to run as one of five Group features on Eagle Farm’s Stradbroke Handicap Day card, including Moroney’s Ishiguru gelding Shenzhou Steeds.
Some of the top fancies in the markets are sure to include Peter Moody’s Eagle Farm Cup third placed Voila Ici, recent Group 3 Premier’s Cup winner Precedence and last year’s Queensland Oaks winner Quintessential after her third Eagle Farm victory on the trot following victories in the Group 3 Chairman’s Handicap (2100m) and the Group 2 Eagle Farm Cup (2200m).
Despite the high class of competitors Moroney remains confident with his runner Shenzhou Steeds, the five-year-old out to improve on their recent efforts.
Not having won a race in the past 12 months, Shenzhou Steeds is on the improve according to their trainer who is tipping them to be close to peak fitness for Saturday.
“Shenzhou Steeds is starting to get back to his best in his work now and his two runs in Queensland have been quite good,” Moroney said.
“He takes a couple of runs to get fit and he’s getting fitter with every run and I think he’ll strip close to his best on Saturday.”
They have come via the traditional Brisbane Cup lead-up races but finished well back in both when seventh to Quintessential in the Chairman’s unsuited to the Heavy (9) track and then fifth when 2.5 lengths off Precedence in the Group 3 Premier’s Cup (2200m) at Doomben on May 25.
Despite being pleased with their last effort Moroney knows it is a tough edition of the Brisbane Cup.
“I was pleased with how he run on last start behind Precedence in the Premier’s Cup but this is the strongest Brisbane Cup field for years so it won’t be easy,” he said.
After the Brisbane Cup 2013 Moroney is looking at taking them to the Sunshine Coast on June 29 for the $200,000 Listed Caloundra Cup (2400m) to defend their title which they won by 7 lengths last year in the mud on the back of an Ipswich Cup victory.
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