After earning a ballot exemption thanks to their win in today’s $220,000 Group 2 Herbert Power Stakes (2400m) it could be onto the Caulfield Cup 2013 next Saturday for the Team Williams-owned import Sea Moon.
Last Saturday at Flemington the Beat Hollow stallion was first past the post in the Listed The Bart Cummings (2520m) but regulated to second upon protest.
No-one was taking the win away from them at Caulfield today however after Hugh Bowman guided the punters’ pick to a gutsy effort with a big weight in the 2013 Herbert Power Stakes.
“I don’t think the chief of stewards or anyone else will take this race off us,” co-owner Nick Williams said post-win on TVN.
The favourite was a little slow out of the gates jumping about three quarters of a length off them, but was booted forward to race on pace in a different tactic than last weekend.
“Hughie’s had to ride him forward…there wasn’t much tempo in the race, so he’s done a very good job,” Williams said.
They settled into a lovely position second behind the leader Oasis Bloom who was first out of the stalls.
Nearing the corner international visitor Simenon started to work their way into the race, and once on the straight it become a thrilling battle between them down the outside and Sea Moon gradually getting there chasing down Oasis Bloom.
“From about the 1400 (metres) I got him into a really nice rhythm,” Bowman said.
“And from then on I was really confident.”
Sea Moon, carrying the 59.5kg topweight, just got to the front and was able to snare a half length victory over Al Maher mare Oasis Bloom who was brave in defeat.
The Herbert Power Stakes winner was ridden aggressively and it took them a while to beat off Oasis Bloom but they had lots of weight and hit the line hard.
“The further I went the stronger he was,” Bowman said of Sea Moon.
“He’s carried the top weight today and he’s done it in style.”
Simenon then held on for third in a smashing first-up run in Australia.
While it’s a big ask for a horse to run three times in as many Saturdays, if Sea Moon pulls up well from the Herbert Power Williams indicated there was every chance that’s exactly what they could do.
“We’ll make a decision whether we pay up next Tuesday and he can run again on Saturday,” Williams said.
“That’s a very clear possibility.
“Dad (Lloyd Williams) did it (run three weeks straight) with one of his Caulfield Cup runners a few years ago.
“And I know a few Lee Freedman (Caulfield Cup) winners that ran three weeks in a row.
“So it’s certainly not unknown.”
They have had a plan in motion for the progressive five-year-old to run, and hopefully take out, the $2.5 million Group 1 BMW Caulfield Cup (2400m) on October 19 since they joined the Macedon Lodge crew from Britain earlier in the year.
While it hasn’t exactly been a dream run into the Cup, they’re now fully qualified and set to make the field should connections opt to pay the final acceptance fee on Tuesday.
After last week Williams admitted the team was still a little skeptical over exactly how good a mile and a half horse Sea Moon was, but that today’s win proved they were very good over the distance.
“He was pretty good today,” Williams said.
“It was a difficult race for him, everything was stacked against him in the weights and measures.
“We thought that last week was a little inconclusive and we really wanted to find out about this horse.
“The horse has shown today he’s really improved.”
If not the Caulfield Cup then Williams said they would discuss a different run for Sea Moon heading towards the $6.2 million Group 1 Emirates Melbourne Cup (3200m) at Flemington on Tuesday November 5.
“We’ll make a decision in the next 24 or 48 hours whether we race him here next Saturday or race him in another race en route to the Melbourne Cup,” he said.
Also looking good for a 2013 Melbourne Cup bid is today’s Herbert Power third placed Simenon.
The William Mullins-trained Irish raider was having their first run down under, the Ascot Gold Cup runner-up looking desperate for the two miles having raced over 3299m or further in every one of their runs back in the UK over the past 12 months.
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2013 Herbert Power Stakes Results & Finishing Order
Caulfield Race 8 – 12/10/2013
|1||1||SEA MOON (GB)||Robert Hickmott||Hugh Bowman||–||7||59.5kg||$3.50F|
|2||6||OASIS BLOOM||Peter Morgan & Craig Widdison||Damian Lane||0.75L||4||53kg||$11|
|3||2||SIMENON (IRE)||William Mullins||Kerrin McEvoy||0.85L||3||56.5kg||$8.50|
|4||8||LET’S MAKE ADEAL||Nigel Blackiston||Michael Walker||1.25L||5||53kg||$9|
|5||4||KESAMPOUR (FR)||Peter G Moody||Luke Nolen||2.25L||2||54.5kg||$4.20|
|6||9||VERDANT (GB)||Robert Smerdon||Dwayne Dunn||4.75L||9||53kg||$9|
|7||10||GOLDONI (IRE)||David Hayes||Chad Schofield (a)||7L||6||53kg||$41|
|8||5||MOUDRE||Ciaron Maher||James McDonald||7.5L||1||54.5kg||$15|
|9||3||TANBY||Robert Hickmott||Brett Prebble||7.9L||8||56.5kg||$14|
|–||11||PHANTOM BREW (NZ)||Colin Little||–||–||0||–||–|
|–||7||MOTIVADO (GB)||David Hayes||Stephen Baster||–||0||–||–|