Back in the stables and ready for a big spring, imported mare Voleuse De Coeurs is on a Melbourne Cup 2014 mission preparing for a second shot at the world’s richest handicap.
Trainer Michael Moroney took over the preparation of the Teofilo mare last November when the former Dermot Weld-trained Irish import came down under for the $6.2 million Group 1 Emirates Melbourne Cup (3200m).
Racing on the back of a stunning six length victory over Ahzeemah in the Group 1 Irish St. Leger (2816m) in mid-September, the five-year-old could only manage to finish 10th eight lengths off the Gai Waterhouse-trained Fiorente in the famous Flemington feature.
Fiorente, who ran second in the 2012 Melbourne Cup, was the second imported stayer in as many years to win the ‘race that stops a nation’ in their second season down under following the Lloyd Williams-owned Green Moon two years ago.
It’s a form line Moroney, who shot to fame back in 2000 preparing that year’s Melbourne Cup champ Brew, is hoping also works for his galloper Voleuse De Coeurs who has another date with the classic on the first Tuesday of November.
She raced again with a three start autumn campaign this year finishing out of the money in all of her starts.
The first was an eye-catching fifth when two and a half lengths off the returning Melbourne Cup winner Fiorente in the Group 1 Australian Cup (2000m) back at Flemington.
Earmarked for improvement after that, Moroney said the short break between the Melbourne and Australian Cups might have left Voleuse De Coeurs flat for the remainder of her prep.
“I just wonder whether the short break between the spring and the autumn and that tough run first up flattened her,” he told Racing Victoria.
“I just got a funny feeling that first up run might have just taken the edge off her and coming off a short break and that long travel might have just been too much for her.
“I think the Australian Cup run first up might have flattened her, she only got beaten a length-and-a-half on a firm track, ran right up to her best in that race and then her two runs in Sydney were disappointing.”
Her second run was another fifth but this time beaten five lengths by Silent Achiever on a Heavy (8) track at Rosehill for the Group 1 The BMW (2400m).
Then came the Group 1 Sydney Cup (3200m) back up over the two miles, a Randwick feature in late April Voleuse De Coeurs never looked like winning.
She and jockey Glen Boss were caught three wide early and were under massive pressure on the turn home, fading over the closing stages to run nearly 15 lengths away 12th to Waterhouse’s winner The Offer.
The Offer is now firm $13 favourite in the pre-nomination Melbourne Cup odds, while Voleuse De Coeurs is further down those futures markets at $34.
That’s a price that could well be worth considering however according to Moroney who is confident she will be a better type this spring having finally acclimatised to the conditions down under after a nice break.
“She spelled in Victoria, she had a nice break this time, and she had about seven-weeks out in the paddock,” Moroney said.
“She’s back in the stable; she’s been back at Flemington about a month.
“I wouldn’t say she’s packed it [weight] on again which is good because I was wondering whether she was getting too fat but she has held her condition nicely, she’s got her winter coat now too which shows obviously that she’s acclimatising.”
There’s a chance she will also run in the $3 million Group 1 Caulfield Cup (2400m) on October 18 leading up to the Melbourne Cup 2014, with her spring preparation still being mapped out.
“I think she’ll go the weight-for-age path toward the Cup, it’s a possibility she could run in the Caulfield Cup, she will definitely be nominated we’ll just see on what path we’ll take to the Melbourne Cup,” Moroney said.
“I think we’ll go a different path, 1400m or something first up and then give her that kind of a more traditional preparation.
“She will be nominated for all those big races and we’ll just see what path we’ll take”.
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