After a win in Friday night’s Glorious Stakes at Britain’s Goodwood Racecourse, connections of the Richard Hannon-trained of Pether’s Moon are eyeing a trip down under for the Caulfield Cup 2014.
Saluting as the favourite, the Dylan Thomas four-year-old enjoyed their first win of the year after a host of close calls taking out the Group 3 Coutts Glorious Stakes (2414m) by one and a quarter lengths over Encke.
In third was then another stayer earmarked for a run in October’s $3 million Group 1 Caulfield Cup (2400m), the Gai Waterhouse-trained Café Society.
Winning stallion Pether’s Moon came off a third behind 2014 Melbourne Cup hope Cavalryman in the Group 2 Princess Of Wales’s Stakes (2414m) who themselves backed up to win the Goodwood Cup the night before.
In the Glorious Stakes Pether’s Moon got into a nice position tracking up behind the leaders in the mile and a half clash with Richard Hughes in the saddle.
While they didn’t look all that comfortable on the undulating track, they got to the inside and hit the lead before driving clear over the final 100m.
“He wasn’t that happy downhill, but we got away with it – it wasn’t just the track though,” Hughes said post-win.
“He went by them so easy and then started looking around and waited for them.”
Also agreeing that Goodwood wasn’t the horse’s ideal track was their trainer who admitted it was a tense race for him to watch.
“He didn’t seem to come down the hill that well and I wasn’t that happy watching it,” Hannon said.
“Hughsie had to get after him and it looked like he was beaten but then he came on the bridle.
“The horse deserved that and it was nothing more than his due.
“We like him a lot and he’s very much one we’d like to keep as he’s still growing into his frame.
“He ran very well at Ascot and Newmarket, all the big meetings, and he deserved this.
“He always looks like he will quicken more than he actually does and I don’t think this track really suits him.”
Despite the win Pether’s Moon is yet to be added to the Ladbrokes.com.au Caulfield Cup odds, futures prices to be shortened with this Tuesday’s nominations.
While yet to confirm a trip to Australia this spring, Hannon did say the October 19 major was a tempting aim and one they were considering.
“There are plenty of options for him abroad and the Caulfield Cup is one we’re considering,” he said.
“We don’t have many that go on this sort of trip but this is a fine horse and he’s got the constitution for that sort of venture.”
It was a brave second on Friday night by the returning runner-up Encke, the Godolphin galloper racing for the first time since their St Leger Stakes win back in September of 2012 685 days earlier.
Café Society meanwhile is back racing with trainer David Simcock with Waterhouse to take over their preparation once her recent acquisition arrives down under for the spring.
They were held up throughout the run on Friday when ridden by Jim Crowley and were lucky to finish just two and a quarter lengths off Pether’s Moon, qualifying them for some of their Victorian goals this season.
“I am absolutely delighted with that and it is perfect as to have him Group Three placed as it qualifies him for many of the races in Australia,” Simcock said.
“I have been talking to Gai all along and she will decide the plan but I imagine he will have one more run close to when he files out and then be ready to run again when once he clears quarantine.
“He will fly out in September when the main batch of Melbourne Cup horses head out there and I am sure he will do well for his new connections.”
Make sure you stay tuned to Races.com.au on Tuesday to view the Cox Plate and Caulfield Cup nominations.
Now is also the time to head over toLadbrokes.com.au and sign-up with the bookie who will be offering the most competitive range of Caulfield Cup betting odds and bonuses this season.