Michael Moroney’s 2014 Melbourne Cup-bound mare Voleuse De Coeurs is getting ready to do speed work in the lead-up to her spring return.
The imported Teofilo mare, turning six on Friday, has been back in work for around six weeks with pace work next on the program.
“She has got a winter coat and has acclimatised but looks well,” Moroney told the Herald Sun this week.
“She is not too far away from speeding up.”
Formerly prepared in Ireland by Dermot K Weld, Voleuse De Coeurs travelled down under last year on the back of a six length Group 1 Irish St Leger (2816m) victory for a shot at the world’s richest handicap.
She debuted down under in that race, the $6.2 million Group 1 Emirates Melbourne Cup (3200m) finishing 10th in the famous Flemington feature on the first Tuesday of November seven weeks after her St Leger triumph.
Beaten eight lengths by the Gai Waterhouse-trained winner Fiorente, Voleuse De Coeurs was sent for a spell returning four months later back at Flemington.
First-up she went straight to 2000m finishing two and a half lengths away fifth behind the same horse that beat her home last run this time in the Group 1 Australian Cup in March.
Two runs during the autumn in Sydney followed when fifth to Silent Achiever in the Group 1 The BMW (2400m) at Rosehill and a disappointing 12th when back up over the two miles for the Group 1 Sydney Cup (3200m) on April 19 won by current Melbourne Cup 2014 favourite The Offer – also prepared by Waterhouse.
While on paper her second campaign in Australia left a lot to be desired, Moroney believes it was more his fault running her in the Australian Cup straight up.
This time he’ll try a different tactic and give her a shorter returning trip, Voleuse De Coeurs likely to return in the $400,000 Group 1 Makybe Diva Stakes (1600m) at Flemington on September 13.
“I trained her very European last time, even in the autumn we went straight to a mile and a quarter race,” he said.
“This year we will give her more of a normal preparation for Melbourne Cup and will probably kick her off over a mile somewhere first-up, rather than 2000m.”
Her major aim again is the Melbourne Cup on November 4, with her trainer also looking at a lead-up run in the $3 million Group 1 Caulfield Cup (2400m) on October 18.
Early betting is already open at Ladbrokes.com.au on all the spring majors with Voleuse De Coeurs paying $34 to win the Melbourne Cup and $41 in the futures Caulfield Cup odds.
Caulfield Cup nominations, along with those for the Cox Plate, Thousand and Caulfield Guineas, are all set for release next Tuesday, August 5.
Punters have to wait an extra month however for the 2014 Melbourne Cup nominations in September.
To get in on the early Spring Cups betting action at the juicy ante-post prices head along to Ladbrokes.com.au where your first deposit will also be matched dollar for dollar as a bonus welcome bet up to $250!