Last summer’s Railway Stakes winner Mr Moet will look to improve on their two disappointing runs this time month when they take on a field of spring cup hopefuls in the JRA Cup 2013 at Moonee Valley on Friday night.
Always a popular lead-up for stayers heading towards some of the Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival majors, this year’s $200,000 Group 3 Alternate Railway JRA Cup (2040m) has drawn a final field of 13 runners.
The top-rated and weighted of the JRA Cup acceptors is Adam Durrant’s WA galloper Mr Moet who will carry 59kg from gate nine with Damien Oliver aboard.
Winner of the Group 1 Railway Stakes (1600m) first-up back home at Ascot kicking off a stellar summer – autumn campaign last November the Mosayter six-year-old’s spring form this season hasn’t been quite as impressive.
First-up they were ninth to Foreteller in the Group 1 Makybe Diva Stakes (1600m) at Flemington and then were beaten four lengths again this time by upset winner It’s A Dundeel last Saturday in the Group 1 Underwood Stakes (1800m).
On a short six day back-up Mr Moet is out to bounce back stepping down in class for the JRA Cup where they make their Moonee Valley debut, Durrant confident they can perform better after getting caught three-deep towards the back of the pack last weekend.
“He had a tough run and he finished next to the Melbourne Cup favourite Puissance De Lune,” Durrant told The West Australian.
“He wasn’t hanging in too bad, Damien shifted the stick into his left hand and he had a bit of calling from behind him.
“He shifted in a bit, but he has been deep throughout and he’s beaten the Melbourne Cup winner Green Moon, Sea Moon and Foreteller home.
“If you look at his sectional times his strongest 200 metres was on the line and he has pulled up great.”
The only other runner over the 54kg minimum in the JRA Cup field on Friday night is then the John O’Shea-trained Lightinthenite with 55.5kg.
Drawn nicely in barrier three with Kiwi expat James McDonald booked for the ride the Galileo six-year-old is second-up for the season after returning with a good third to Caulfield Cup favourite Hawkspur in the Group 2 Chelmsford Stakes (1600m) at Randwick at the start of the month.
Also coming via a nice last start run is Peter Morgan and Craig Widdison’s Al Maher mare Oasis Bloom.
Out wide in barrier 11 for the JRA Cup the five-year-old was an eye catching second to the then undefeated Atlantic Jewel, the Cox Plate favourite beaten for the first time in the Underwood, in the Group 2 Stocks Stakes (1600m) here at Moonee Valley on September 14.
There are then two last start winners in the mix with Jake Stephens’ Balaklava Cup champ Gris Caro and the Gai Waterhouse-trained The Great Snowman who won here over the mile a fortnight ago.
Also worth a note are Kiwi runner Weissmuller and the Robert Smerdon-trained Queensland Cup winner from winter Verdant.
See below for the official JRA Cup 2013 field, barriers, jockeys and weights.
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2013 JRA Cup Final Field & Barrier Draw
Moonee Valley Race 7 – 9:15pm (AEST) – 27/09/2013
|#||Form (Last 10)||Horse||Trainer||Jockey||Br.||Wgt.||Hcp. Rating|
|1||1212326×98||MR MOET||Adam Durrant||Damien Oliver||9||59kg||108|
|2||66x49564x3||LIGHTINTHENITE||John O’Shea||James McDonald||3||55.5kg||101|
|3||x70124x792||OASIS BLOOM||Peter Morgan & Craig Widdison||Craig Williams||11||54kg||98|
|4||441529×200||TALENT SHOW||Graeme Ballantyne||Dean Yendall||4||54kg||97|
|5||11213x27x1||GRIS CARO (GB)||Jake Stephens||Dom Tourneur||8||54kg||95|
|6||3707×45087||EXTRA ZERO||David Hayes||Chad Schofield (a)||7||54kg||93|
|7||0168256×09||ZABISCO (NZ)||Michael Moroney||Luke Nolen||2||54kg||92|
|8||48724063×3||VERDANT (GB)||Robert Smerdon||Dwayne Dunn||6||54kg||91|
|9||021x730x05||MOURINHO||Peter Gelagotis||Craig Newitt||13||54kg||90|
|10||9×94011201||THE GREAT SNOWMAN (NZ)||Gai Waterhouse||Glen Boss||12||54kg||89|
|11||0x1111x0x8||HORNETS’ NEST (GB)||James J McNamara||Ms Nikita McLean||10||54kg||82|
|12||161970×642||WEISSMULLER (NZ)||Andrew R Campbell||–||5||54kg||77|
|13||1327x8x602||HISTORY NO HURDLE (NZ)||Stephen Hutchinson||Jake Noonan||1||54kg||70|