Former Melbourne Cup winning trainer Mark Kavanagh has named the Moir Stakes in three weeks’ time as the next major aim for his smart mare Wild Rain after her smart McEwen Stakes 2016 win at Moonee Valley.
A field of eight lined-up in the $200,000 Group 2 McEwen Stakes (1000m) on Dato’ Tan Chin Nam Stakes Day, but the race didn’t pan out as expected.
Hot favourite and Valley specialist Heatherly was all the rage with the punters and was tipped to jump and lead the field around.
Instead she was unhappy in the gates playing up pre-race before missing the kick by a half-length.
Her jockey Damian Lane had to go to Plan B with the last start Norman Carlyon Stakes winner and Heatherly eased back to settle third last off the pace.
Taking up front running in her place was Kavanagh’s Manhattan Rain mare Wild Rain, the five-year-old coming off a Caulfield win from mid-July in the Group 3 Sir John Monash Stakes (1100m).
Also boasting a gun record over the shorter-distance and at Moonee Valley where she is now three-from-five, Wild Rain had Stephen Baster in the saddle and the pair led all-the-way to post the Group 2 victory.
Noticing Heatherly wasn’t up front challenging for the lead, Baster scurried up and used the rails to get to the lead from last year’s third-placegetter Furnaces while Sheidel was also in the mix first-up posted third.
“To be honest I stepped out a neck slower than I thought I would,” winning hoop Baster said after the race.
“But I couldn’t see Heatherly and we got the easy sectional lead for a furlong.
“She [Wild Rain] was in her comfort zone racing rally nice.”
Wild Rain was left alone in front getting the easy early sectionals before Heatherly started to creep up and make her move around the bend.
The favourite was fourth around the outside moving up on the straight, while the John O’Shea-trained Furnaces and hoop Craig Williams worked to try and run down Wild Rain.
The mare couldn’t be reeled in however, Wild Rain ($5.50) too good with a brilliant ride from Baster producing the win over Furnaces ($7) while Heatherly ($2.50) crossed third to finish off the McEwen Stakes trifecta.
“To her credit she’s tough and all heart, she put her head out and just kept going strong to the line,” Baster added.
Kavanagh confirmed post-race he would bring Wild Rain back to Moonee Valley on September 30 for a shot at the $500,000 Group 1 City Jeep Moir Stakes (1000m), a race the mares have won three times in the past five years.
“She’s going really well,” he said.
“She’s progressed nicely.
“She can run those sectionals, which makes it hard for them to pick her up.
“She’s been very consistent and she’s a Group 2 winner now.
“Three weeks now into the Moir…she’s a specialist at a 1000 [meters].”
To back Wild Rain next race and access the hottest Moir Stakes 2016 betting odds later this month make sure you’ve got an account open and ready to go at Ladbrokes.com.au!
2016 McEwen Stakes Results & Finishing Order
Moonee Valley Race 5 – 03/09/2016
|1||6||WILD RAIN||Mark Kavanagh||Stephen Baster||–||2||56.5kg||$5.50|
|2||2||FURNACES||John O’Shea||Craig Williams||1L||3||58.5kg||$7|
|3||8||HEATHERLY||Mathew Ellerton & Simon Zahra||Damian Lane||1.1L||8||56.5kg||$2.45F|
|4||5||SHEIDEL||David & B Hayes & T Dabernig||Luke Nolen||2.1L||7||56.5kg||$5|
|5||4||O’MALLEY||Enver Jusufovic||Craig Newitt||2.2L||6||58.5kg||$15|
|6||9||SHAKESPEAREAN LASS||Pat Carey||Rhys McLeod||3.45L||5||56.5kg||$51|
|7||3||RELDAS||Robert Smerdon||Chris Parnham||4.2L||1||58.5kg||$18|
|8||7||ALPHA MISS||Robert Smerdon||Dwayne Dunn||4.95L||4||56.5kg||$15|
|–||10||CHLOE IN PARIS||Ciaron Maher||Damien Oliver||–||0||–||–|
|–||1||ICONIC||Mark Riley||Luke Currie||–||0||–||–|