Talented young hoop Patrick Moloney has described getting a ride aboard Vengeur Masque in the 2017 Sydney Cup field as a “big thrill” and is confident the horse’s racing style will be well suited to the outside alley in the two mile classic.
The Michael Moroney-trained Monsun five-year-old Vengeur Masque drew gate 14 of 14 for Saturday’s $2 million Group 1 Schweppes Sydney Cup (3200m) at Royal Randwick.
It will be the gelding’s first run over the two-mile traditional cup distance, but his hoop Moloney has zero fears over how the last start Mornington Cup runner-up will handle the metres.
“Absolutely – that’s one thing I don’t doubt, that he’ll run a strong two miles,” Moloney told Racing Victoria.
“He’s got a massive lung capacity for a slight horse; he’s got a massive aerobic capacity.
“The unknown is the wet, but as for the 3200m, he’ll acquit himself quite well.”
Vengeur Masque went within a nostril flare of the winner Tally in the Listed Mornington Cup (2400m) as a $21 shot on March 25 and is rated a $19 roughie in Sydney Cup betting at Ladbrokes.com.au this weekend.
Tally is also lining-up in what looks one of the weaker recent editions of the staying autumn showdown, the John O’Shea-trained four-year-old at $13 to win his first Group 1 after a close third in the ATC Derby over the 2400m at Randwick this time last year.
The former European-trained Vengeur Masque has had eight runs in Australia and remains a maiden on the turf down under, not having won since a 2400m victory in France back in June of 2015.
It has been a long time between drinks then for the import, but he is weighted for a huge run on Saturday getting in on just 51.5kg in the Sydney Cup weights.
Moloney is also confident that he can give the horse every chance from barrier 14 of 14, despite the history books showing no Sydney Cup winner has come from wider than barrier 11 since Daacha (18 of 18) back in 1995.
“It’s not too much of a pressure for me drawing out there,” he said.
“It’s a big thrill for me to ride in a Sydney Cup.
“Drawing 14 of 14, he’s a natural free-rolling, on-pace type of horse so I envisage he’ll roll forward from the gate.
“He won’t have any pressure from the outside, so we’ll be able to stroll over at our own leisure, so to speak, and whether he takes it up himself or takes a sit behind something depends on the tempo of the race.
“As long as he gets into a good rhythm, that’s going to be the key to him being the finish.”
Hot favourite in Sydney Cup betting at $2.50 odds to post an official fourth win on the trot and complete the double coming off a Chairman’s Handicap win from last Saturday is the Darren Weir-trained Big Duke.