Rosehill’s Tim Martin confirmed the stable’s evergreen warhorse Moral Victory was on song for a Group 1 Toorak Handicap start down south after his home win in the Shannon Stakes 2016 over the weekend.
It was a big Golden Pendant Day achievement by the Husson seven-year-old who posted back-to-back wins at Rosehill track with his success in the $175,000 Group 2 Shannon Stakes (1500m).
Jockey Jason Collett minded his own business aboard the in-form veteran, who won over 1200m at the course a fortnight ago at big odds, while the rest of the hoops were up front making Caped Crusader work for the lead.
The Gai Waterhouse & Adrian Bott-trained Caped Crusader, second to Moral Victory last time out, and his hoop Kathy O’Hara rolled forward to take up front running.
It was a strong early pace and O’Hara wasn’t able to get her mount across to the rails until the 1000m.
Moral Victory was also fast out of the gates before settling back around fifth.
Following Caped Crusader around on pace was the favourite Hi World ahead of Entirely Platinum who was racing on the inside, as the Chris Waller-trained Cosmic Cube tracked fourth after a second last at Randwick last time out in the Group 2 Tramway Stakes (1400m) in the wet.
Cosmic Cube started to track up around the turn as Caped Crusader was called upon to hold off the challengers.
The well-backed Moral Victory ($5) was on the rails looking for a run before Collett got him off the fence over the final couple of hundred metres to race home for a one length off Caped Crusader ($5) who held on for second ahead of Cosmic Cube ($10).
Collett gave the Shannon Stakes winner the softest ride of the race on the nice light weight (53kg down from 57kg last time out), rallying up before pouncing late.
“It was a really good tempo early,” the winning hoop said post-race.
“He is a big boy and this is a big achievement winning a Group 2 as a seven-year-old.”
Martin will now chase his first win in the $500,000 Group 1 Toorak Handicap (1600m) down at Caulfield Racecourse on Guineas Day, October 8, with Moral Victory.
“He’s on target for a Toorak and looks on song for that after today,” he said.
“He’s never gone better and that’s why we’re taking him to the bigger races.”
The last Toorak Handicap winner to back directly up off a Shannon Stakes run was Shot Of Thunder (2nd in 2002).
Seven-year-olds meanwhile have a strong recent record in the Group 1 over the mile with two wins in the past five years: King Mufhasa (2011) and Solzhenitsyn (2013) for his second three years ago.
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2016 Shannon Stakes Results & Finishing Order
Rosehill Race 8 – 24/09/2016
|1||6||MORAL VICTORY||Tim Martin||Jason Collett||–||5||53kg||$5|
|2||7||CAPED CRUSADER (NZ)||Gai Waterhouse & Adrian Bott||Ms Kathy O’Hara||1.3L||6||53kg||$4.80|
|3||3||COSMIC CUBE (NZ)||Chris Waller||Rory Hutchings||3.3L||3||57.5kg||$9|
|4||5||OLD NORTH||John O’Shea||Tim Clark||3.9L||7||53kg||$5.50|
|5||9||UNEQUIVOCAL||Noel Mayfield-Smith||Jay Ford||4.4L||1||53kg||$17|
|6||4||HI WORLD||Lee & Anthony Freedman||Blake Shinn||6.5L||4||56kg||$3.30F|
|7||2||ENTIRELY PLATINUM (NZ)||Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes||Christian Reith||6.6L||2||58.5kg||$10|
|–||10||MORE TO GAIN||Amanda Turner & Mauro Poletti||Peter Wells||–||0||–||–|
|–||1||COUNTERATTACK||Chris Waller||Brenton Avdulla||–||0||–||–|
|–||8||KELLYVILLE FLYER||Jason Attard||Ms Winona Costin||–||0||–||–|