The Mike Moroney-trained Araldo will look to the Group 3 Geelong Cup (2400m) in a bid to qualify for the Group 1 Melbourne Cup (3200m).
The lightly raced stayer, who took a minor placing from his last-start in the Group 1 Metropolitan (2400m) is among the final field for the Group 1 Caulfield Cup (2400m) this Saturday but is unlikely to gain a start given he is second emergency.
With late scratchings unlikely to occur given the importance of the race, and Brambles guaranteed one over Araldo if there is, connections had to look elsewhere for a Melbourne Cup lead-in race, for which he is paying $51 in futures betting at Ladbrokes.com.au.
As a result, Moroney has set his sights on the 2014 Geelong Cup next Wednesday as a last-ditch effort to earn his seven-year-old horse an entry in the 2014 Melbourne Cup on November 4th.
“We would love to run in the Caulfield Cup but if that doesn’t eventuate, the Geelong Cup is the next best option,” Moroney told TVN.
“I thought his run in Sydney in the Metropolitan (third behind Junoob) was very good, he had to overcome a bit of trouble and found the line strongly.
“The Melbourne Cup is the goal, that is where we want to end up, it is just a matter of getting him there.”
The seven-year-old British import has only 14 career starts to his name, only four of which were black type races.
Araldo hasn’t had a win since this time last year after taking out the Listed Bart Cummings (2520m) but did well to finish third to Junoob in the Metrop his last time out.
The horse was blocked for a run near the turn but snagged over heels to get an inside run. For only getting in the race late he worked home very strongly.
Punters were impressed with his result and are itching to see his next start.
Araldo is currently sitting 34th in the Melbourne Cup order of entry with 53kg and will need to win the Geelong Cup as well as gain a weight penalty to be guaranteed a spot on the field in the race that stops the nation.
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