Merion Targets 2015 Australian Guineas

Merion will begin his 2015 autumn racing campaign next month but trainer Mike Moroney is still working out a first-up run.

Merion (inside) will target the Group 1 Australian Guineas during the autumn.

Merion (inside) will target the Group 1 Australian Guineas during the autumn. Photo by Race Horse Photos Australia.

The three-year-old gelding will be aimed towards the Group 1 Australian Guineas (1600m) at Flemington Racecourse on March 7 and will either come via the Group 3 CS Hayes Stakes (1200m) on February 21 or a minor race at Sandown Racecourse.

Merion has won half of his six career starts including the Listed Living Legends Stakes (1400m) at the beginning of the spring. After finding a lovely spot one off the fence behind the lead division, the gelding took no chances and moved into clear air. He swept up and had a battle with Chivalry but just out bobbed him on the line to win by a nose.

The gelding then made the step up to Group One racing for the first time in the Group 1 Caulfield Guineas (1600m) on October 11, finishing four lengths behind winner Shooting To Win in sixth place. He tried hard in the concluding stages but was simply outclassed.

He was last seen in the Group 3 Caulfield Classic (2000m) on October 18 where the gelding over raced and worked hard to lead before weakening right out of the race after the turn, finishing nearly ten lengths behind winner Fontein Ruby in ninth place.

Merion returned to the track last Friday with a jumpout at Werribee partnered with hoop Steve Arnold. Moroney experimented with earmuffs on the gelding but after switching off completely will abandon using them again.

“He switched off completely, so he won’t be going around in them. Steve said he couldn’t get him to go,” Moroney told TVN.

“We’ll give him another jumpout and then decide where we’ll go.”

A trip to Sydney for the gelding later in the autumn program will depend on his performance in the 2015 Australian Guineas.

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