Flemington-based trainer Michael Moroney is looking forward to the new season return of his undefeated youngster Merion who is being set for a 2014 Caulfield Guineas campaign this Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival.
O’reilly gelding Merion, three next week when all the horses celebrate their birthdays on August 1, kicked off their career this autumn with back-to-back wins.
The first was over 1300m in a 2YO handicap at Bendigo in late March before their return a month later at Flemington in the Listed ANZAC Day Stakes (1410m).
Enjoying a step up in both class and distance for the April 25 black-type Merion scored a half length win over Light Up Manhattan, who went on to run third to Cailin Miss in an Adelaide stakes race the following week over the mile, before being sent out for a spell.
They will have their first official trial of their three-year-old season then Friday week at Flemington before their first-up run at Moonee Valley on August 23.
Moroney named the $120,000 Listed McKenzie Stakes (1200m) as the likely kick-off for Merion who, thanks to the high opinion their trainer has of them, is Group 1 bound.
“He looks a good horse in the making and he has come back very well,” Moroney told Racing Network this week.
“He’s been up and galloping and he’ll more than likely kick-off his spring in the Mitchell McKenzie at Moonee Valley.”
Their major aim will then be the $1 million Group 1 BECK Caulfield Guineas (1600m) over the Caulfield mile on October 11.
“His aim is the Caulfield Guineas so that Moonee Valley race will be an ideal start for him,” Moroney said.
Future Caulfield Guineas betting markets are already open at Ladbrokes.com.au with Gai Waterhouse’s JJ Atkins winner Almalad leading the way at $9.
Merion is yet to be added to those ante-post Caulfield Guineas odds, but is sure to feature in the mix if they came out with a successful trial next week.
Another exciting new season three-year-old eyeing a Caulfield Guineas bid this coming spring meanwhile is the Mark Kavanagh-trained Chivalry.
Former Melbourne Cup winning trainer Kavanagh has a race next month in mind for Street Cry colt Chivalry’s return but is keeping an eye on the weather to guide where they kick off.
They were last seen running four lengths away eighth to subsequent Golden Slipper runner-up Earthquake in the Blue Diamond Stakes and are the $11 second favourite in the latest Caulfield Guineas odds.
To follow the spring progress of Merion and Chivalry make sure you bookmark us here at Races.com.au.
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