Group 2 Adelaide Autumn Target for Stingray

Caulfield trainer John Moloney has plans to target a Group 2 race in Adelaide this autumn with his Caulfield Guineas failure Stingray.

Patrick Moloney

Apprentice jockey Patrick Moloney will ride Stingray first-up at Moonee Valley this weekend. Photo: Adrienne Bicknell.

The Kaphero colt was competitive early in the spring last year including his second to Get The Nod in the Group 3 Vain Stakes (1100m) second-up on his home track in mid-August.

The Group 1 Caulfield Guineas (1600m) was always the aim and he progressed towards that with a host of average mid-field runs.

On D-Day he hampered the start from a wide barrier 11 of 13 draw and was ridden forward before the pressure applied from his rivals saw him weaken right out of the race to finish a distant 12th some 16 or so lengths off the Peter & Paul Snowden-trained winner Shooting To Win.

Moloney sent him to the paddock immediately after that run to freshen-up ahead of an autumn return that will likely kick off this weekend at Moonee Valley.

He has nominated the youngster for both the $80,000 Super Vobis 3YO Benchmark 70 Handicap (1000m) as well as the $80,000 Tour of Victoria Benchmark 78 Handicap (1000m) at Moonee Valley on Saturday.

Moloney confirmed the former was the race he would accept for with the trainer’s nephew, apprentice hoop Patrick Moloney booked for the ride.

While he was stretched right out to a mile last preparation, plans are this time in to keep the horse to sprint distances this campaign with 1400m the longest he would race over at most.

“I think this preparation we’ll aim shorter than a mile, 1400m might be as far as we go with him, I think 1000 or 1200 might be better trips for him,” Moloney told Racing Victoria.

While the up-and-comer hasn’t had an official trial ahead of his first-up assignment, Moloney gave him a good jump-out at Caulfield that he pulled up well from.

“He pulled up well, he went nice enough, he’s not at his peak naturally, but he’s coming to hand which is good,” he said.

Exact autumn plans are still up in the air for Stingray but Moloney did name the $200,000 Group 2 Euclase Classic (1200m) at Morphettville on SA Derby Day on May 3 as a possible target.

“Maybe a race like the Great Western Angus Brut (Euclase Classic), I think that’s what it’s called, a three-year-old 1200m in Adelaide a bit later in the season,” he said.

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