Moriarty Onto 2014 Mackinnon Stakes After Craven Plate Win

Chris Waller secured his second Craven Plate win in four years thanks to a patient ride from jockey Blake Shinn aboard warhorse Moriarty who heads towards a run in the 2014 Mackinnon Stakes in Melbourne on Victoria Derby Day.


Chris Waller's Craven Plate winner Moriarty hasn't been ruled out of the 2014 Caulfield Cup in a fortnight. Photo: Steve Hart.

Plagued with setbacks over his career the now six-year-old Clodovil gelding showed with today’s $125,000 Group 3 APN Outdoor Craven Plate (2000m) win that he liked to be ridden cold and could get the job done when ridden that way.

“You can’t panic,” Waller said after the win.

“He’s good enough.

“He looks outstanding. That’s the way to ride him and he’s shown that today.”

Waller won the Craven Plate back in 2011 with My Kingdom Of Fife and was happy to celebrate another today, quick to credit the ride of Shinn post-victory.

The pace was set by Group 1 winning Kiwi mare Rising Romance who tried to lead all the way, jockey James McDonald taking her to the front after she shot out of the barriers brilliantly.

Shinn and Moriarty meanwhile did nothing in the run, Shinn nursing the horse and not asking for too much until the final 250 metres after settling him at the very back of the pack.

After getting taken over by Danchai and then Canny Ballard into the home straight, Rising Romance kicked away again with a late sprint fighting really hard to win on the inside.

She’d done more work than Moriarty earlier however and the latter came hard down the outside breathing down the mare’s neck with more in the tank over the closing stages winning by the bob of the head in a photo finish.

In third was then the fellow Waller-trained Vilanova ridden by Brazilian jockey Joao Moreira who also has the ride on stablemate He’s Your Man in the Group 1 Epsom Handicap (1600m).

“We just went back to basics and rode him very conservative, I knew that was what was best for the horse,” Shinn said.

“And he was really good for me.

“He had to dig in deep in the last 100m; he did a great job and it’s nice to get him back in the winner’s circle with him.”

Last time out Moriarty was flat when dead last crossing sixth behind the fellow Waller-trained Junoob in the Group 2 Hill Stakes (2000m).

The Craven Plate was obviously an improved run and the horse’s first win since the Group 2 Eagle Farm Cup (2200m) in Brisbane during the winter.

While Waller said he and connections were keeping options open for today’s Craven Plate winner, he didn’t realistically rate him as a strong 2400m type and said the $3 million Group 1 Caulfield Cup over that distance on October 18 was unlikely.

Moriarty ran 10th in last year’s Caulfield Cup beaten only three lengths by Fawkner from a wide barrier (15 of 18) before backing up on Victoria Derby Day at Flemington in the $1 million Group 1 Mackinnon Stakes (2000m).

In last year’s Mackinnon under half a length separated the third placed Moriarty and the winner Side Glance, a result Waller is hoping he can go two better than this Melbourne Cup Carnival.

“You’ve got the right to dream and change plans,” Waller said.

“It’s hard to get a horse into the Caulfield Cup.

“We’ll keep our options open but realistically a race like the Mackinnon.

“Hopefully all the horses run in the Cox Plate the week before and this is his time.”

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2014 Craven Plate Results & Finishing Order

Randwick Race 4 – 04/10/2014

Place # Horse Trainer Jockey Margin Br. Wgt. SP
1 2 MORIARTY (IRE) Chris Waller Blake Shinn 5 59kg $3.70
2 7 RISING ROMANCE (NZ) Donna Logan James McDonald 0.1L 1 56kg $2.15F
3 6 VILANOVA (NZ) Chris Waller Joao Moreira 1.6L 4 58kg $8.50
4 3 SLOW PACE (USA) Kris Lees Hugh Bowman 2.1L 6 59kg $8.50
5 5 CANNY BALLAD Joseph Pride Corey Brown 3.1L 2 59kg $13
6 4 DANCHAI (GB) Chris Waller Glyn Schofield 5.7L 3 59kg $26
1 HAWKSPUR Chris Waller Tye Angland 0

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