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Melbourne’s premier horseman Peter Moody has decided not to run his reigning Sandown Cup winner Ibicenco in the two mile classic this Saturday, instead turning the galloper out with an eye on a Sydney Cup 2014 campaign next autumn.
Imported Shirocco stallion saluted in last year’s Listed Sandown Cup (3200m) at the end of a their first prep down under while still prepared by Europe’s Luca Cumani.
They stayed on in Australia sent to Moody by their Australian-based connections OTI Racing, and enjoyed a solid 12 months winning two races under their new trainer.
The most recent was the Group 3 Geelong Cup (2400m) in the wet on October 23 which put them in the mix for the $6 million Group 1 Melbourne Cup (3200m) on November 5.
Ibicenco ran in the ‘race that stops a nation’ as a $66 outsider and could only manage to finish 12 lengths away 16th behind the Gai Waterhouse-trained winner Fiorente.
Originally Moody planned to run them for a final spring start in the Sandown Cup 2013, but after watching the horse in a track gallop on Tuesday morning he’s decided against a title defense.
Instead the dour stayer will be sent to the paddock for a freshen-up ahead of big autumn cup targets in both Adelaide and Sydney next year.
“He was not as bright as he has been recently and another 3200m race looked beyond him now,” OTI’s Terry Henderson explained to the Herald Sun this week.
“Like all stayers he carries little niggles and if you want him next preparation you need to rest him now.”
Moody and senior owner Henderson are looking firstly at the $400,000 Group 2 Adelaide Cup (3200m) at Morphettville on March 10.
Then Ibicenco’s prep will be targeted to the prestigious $500,000 Group 1 Sydney Cup (3200m) at Royal Randwick on April 26 during the coveted Sydney Autumn Racing Carnival.
“We could have run him (in the Sandown Cup) but it may have meant we would miss the autumn with him,” Henderson added.
“There are plenty of races for him after a good rest, races such as the Adelaide and Sydney Cup.
“He is no world-beater but he has been a good money-spinner and he is lightly raced with a chance to win ever more races.”
In total the German-bred Ibicenco has had 22 career starts for four wins and five other minor placings for just over $600,000 in prize money.
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