Michael Moroney confirmed plans to instruct jockey Craig Newitt to go forward in the 2015 Bendigo Cup aboard the progressive Araldo Junior this afternoon, but said they could sneak into a spot just off the pace if need be.
A versatile German import and half-brother to Moroney’s ill-fated Melbourne Cup runner Araldo, the Medicean five-year-old is one of 11 in the mix for this year’s $300,000 Group 3 2015 Jayco Bendigo Cup (2400m).
The gelding has winning form back in Germany up to 2800m and sees the mile and a half in Australia for the first time in the Bendigo Cup shooting for back-to-back wins down under.
In his third run in Oz Araldo Junior, owned by many of the same connections as Araldo who sadly had to be euthanized after injuring his leg during a seventh behind Protectionist in last year’s Melbourne Cup, broke through for his fourth career win.
Taking his consistent record up to four victories from eight starts, he led all the way with apprentice Patrick Moloney in the saddle to beat home Thunder Lady by one and a half lengths as a 20/1 shot in the Benalla Cup (2046m).
For the Bendigo Cup the ride belongs to Newitt with Moloney originally down to partner rival Maygrove from the Caulfield Cup winning stables of Murray Baker.
Matthew Cameron now has the ride on Baker’s Geelong Cup fourth placegetter however with Moloney serving suspension.
Also suspended is Glen Boss who was Moroney’s first replacement choice on Araldo Junior.
Newitt is yet to partner the imported stayer, but Moroney said he would give clear instructions to go forward but not worry about leading as the horse did for his last start win.
“We’ll be telling Craig there’s him and two others that go forward. If he thinks they’ve run too many slow sectionals, he can get on his bike and get going,” Moroney, won took out the 2000 Melbourne Cup with Brew, told Racing Victoria.
“The only reason we did that [lead] at Benalla was because being a mile-and-a-half horse, we really thought that if it was a sit-and-sprint, we had no chance.
“We drew wide, it was a day we wanted to go forward than back. We’ll be going forward to a degree, but if we can find a spot, we’ll be behind the leaders.”
In the Bendigo Cup field Araldo Junior jumps from barrier nine on the 54kg minimum.
Current Bendigo Cup betting at Ladbrokes.com.au, who are running Best Tote or SP + 20% on the feature mid-week race, has 2013 Crown Oaks winner Kirramosa as the $4.20 favourite after her unplaced run behind subsequent Cox Plate champion Winx in the Group 1 Epsom Handicap (1600m) last time out.
Araldo Junior is at $12 for the win and Moroney said it would be a lovely result for connections including renowned owner Rupert Legh if he could win and continue the Araldo legacy.
Like Araldo Junior, Araldo kicked off his career racing in Germany where he won in black-type company over 2800m and was third and fourth past the post in two Group 1 events, the latter of which was over the mile and a half in Italy.
He had nine runs in Australia before his tragic end including a second to Opinion in the Group 1 The Metropolitan (2400m) in Sydney and a Caulfield Cup fifth behind Japan’s Admire Rakti who also passed away after last year’s Melbourne Cup.
“It would be nice. It’d make for a great story, if he can get up and win some nice races,” Moroney said.
“It was a major loss to our stable and our owners, we bought [Araldo], a really gorgeous looking horse.
“It was a really major loss to everybody, and to think we’ve got a half-brother that looks to be showing this amount of ability, it’s great.”
While the comparisons are there including the staying ability, Moroney said there were also notable differences between Araldo and Araldo Junior.
“We had to geld this bloke [Araldo Junior], he’s very heavy. Araldo wasn’t – he was quite a leggy High Chaparral,” he said.
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