Peter Morgan & Craig Widdison’s last start winning mare Averau heads a quality line-up of stayers nominated to face off in the Torney Night Cup 2015 under the lights at Moonee Valley on Friday evening.
The five-year-old daughter of Stratum is one of 17 early entries for this year’s $150,000 Listed Torney Night Cup (2500m) and is after the fifth win of her past six starts going back to late October.
She won back-to-back races over the track and distance she sees again this weekend during the spring before travelling to Werribee for the Listed Spicer Thoroughbred Handicap (2635m) on December 14 that she lost by a nose to Cadillac Mountain.
Averua then went to Flemington for back-to-back Flemington wins firstly in the Listed Bagot Handicap (2800m) on New Year’s Day, which she won by three and a half lengths, and then at the end of the month in the Doriemus Handicap (2000m) defeating Extra Zero by a half-length.
Undefeated over the 2500m at Moonee Valley then Averau is shaping up as the horse to beat in this year’s Torney Night Cup.
Two of her most imposing rivals if accepted however are the Peter Moody-trained Crime Fighter and Gilago for Robbie Griffiths who both also come off some winning form.
Four-year-old Street Hero gelding Crime Fighter has won his last two on the trot firstly over 1950m at Morphettville Parks on January 24 and then over 2200m in a Benchmark 84 at Bendigo on February 7.
He’s flying then, carried 58kg to victory last start, gets a nice two week break between runs and also boasts two wins from three starts at Moonee Valley.
Gilago is another four-year-old, the Churchill Downs mare having her first look at Moonee Valley and the 2500m.
She’s won her past three straight to earn the rise to black type company however including her smart two and a half length victory over 2200m at Ballarat on January 28 with 56kg and Chad Schofield aboard.
Darren Weir meanwhile prepares the highest rated of the Torney Night Cup nominees with Haradasun gelding Taiyoo.
The five-year-old, like Gilago, has won three straight and is looking to make it a quartet on Friday.
His last start was also on February 7 but at Sandown where he beat home Crafty Cruiser by an easy three lengths carrying 58.5kg over the mile and a half.
Runner-up in that race, the Sportingbet Mystery Bets Benchmark 96 Handicap (2400m), Crafty Cruiser and third placed Tuscan Fire are also nominated for the Torney Night Cup.
Bryce Stanaway’s Good Journey seven-year-old Crafty Cruiser has won just one of his 15 starts at Moonee Valley but does have winning form up to 3100m.
The Dan O’Sullivan-trained fellow veteran, eight-year-old Tuscan Fire meanwhile has won up to 3200m in better company and has run top three in his past three summer starts this season so is in top form despite his years.
Other notable hopes in the summer staying showdown include Archie Alexander’s Sandown Cup champ Renew who ran dead last to Averau last time out, Robbie Laing’s last start Colac Gold Cup winner Scelto and the now Mick Cerchi-trained Galileo eight-year-old Tanby who was runner-up in the Bagot Handicap on January 1 four runs back.
See below for the full Torney Night Cup 2015 nominations, the field out on Wednesday.
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2015 Torney Night Cup Nominations
Moonee Valley Racecourse – 20/02/2015
|1||AVERAU||Peter Morgan & Craig Widdison||96|
|3||CRAFTY CRUISER||Bryce Stanaway||89|
|4||CRIME FIGHTER||Peter G Moody||79|
|6||GOLD MEDALS (NZ)||Symon Wilde||77|
|7||LUCCIOLA (IRE)||David & Coral Feek||83|
|8||LUCK’S A FORTUNE||Pat Carey||77|
|10||ONLY A PLEASURE (IRE)||Archie Alexander||82|
|11||REFECTORY (IRE)||Richard Laming||68|
|12||RENEW (IRE)||Archie Alexander||99|
|13||SCELTO (NZ)||Robbie Laing||78|
|14||SUNSET MAGIC (NZ)||Michael Moroney||67|
|17||TUSCAN FIRE||Dan O’Sullivan||95|