Murwillumbah trainer Matthew Dunn is looking...
Stephen Brown’s talented sprinter Sea Lord returns to racing at Moonee Valley this weekend ahead of a major Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival campaign where they will be aimed at the Group 1 Moir Stakes – Manikato Stakes 2013 double.
A rising six-year-old son of Street Cry, Sea Lord was previously prepared by David Hayes before being transferred to the now Flemington-based Brown’s care at the start of last year.
For their new trainer the horse has enjoyed a quartet of turf triumphs from nine starts including the Listed Macleod Stakes (1200m) at Moonee Valley last September and their biggest success so far, the Group 2 Australia Stakes at the same track and distance in January this year.
They backed up off their nice Australia Stakes win over Pinwheel a month later going up to Group 1 class for the Oakleigh Plate (1100m) at Caulfield but could only manage to finish three and a half lengths away ninth to Mrs Onassis.
Brown instantly forgave them that run and sent them to the paddock to prepare for another shot at the big time next season believing the missed out on finishing closer because of a poor decision by jockey Luke Currie to race them off the speed despite the scratching of Barakey in the barriers.
“I reckon he should have run a place in the Oakleigh Plate,” he said.
That campaign kicks off on Saturday in the $80,000 Slickpix Handicap (1200m) at their pet track at Moonee Valley Racecourse where they have so far thrived on the tight circuit winning all four of their MV starts.
“I was going to run him at Caulfield a couple of weeks ago but decided to wait for this race,”
They come up against just seven rivals too including Peter Moody’s last start Caulfield winner Mr Make Believe and veteran galloper Zedi Knight originally giving away the weight advantage carrying the 61kg top impost.
Three of those kilos will come off however with Brown booking apprentice Kayla Nisbet which brings them back down to 58kg, equal with Mr Make Believe, with the young hoop feeling the pressure to maintain the horse’s undefeated Moonee Valley record.
“It’s a bit of pressure but he loves the distance and track and hopefully he runs well again,” Nisbet, who partnered with them for a track gallop on Wednesday morning, said.
“He gets in with not too much weight after my claim and I’m looking forward to it.”
Brown is looking for a good early performance from Sea Lord for their first-up run but has his eyes on bigger prizes naming the season’s opening Group 1 race, the $450,000 Moir Stakes back over the 1200m at the Valley on September 27 as their first major assignment.
Should all go to plan there then it will be onto the lucrative $1 million Group 1 Manikato Stakes (1200m) on October 25 with Brown playing the track specialist card all the way.
“I think I’ll give him another run after this and then he’ll have a short let-up and I’ll look to target some of the Moonee Valley sprints in the spring,” Brown said.
“He’s a Moonee Valley specialist.
“He’s capable of winning one of them, I think.”
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