Imported German stayer Araldo will finally make his Australian racing debut in the Listed Slickpix Stakes (1700m) at Caulfield on Saturday.
Araldo originally looked as though he would miss out of a run in the race after being named the first emergency but the withdrawal of popular gelding Hawks Bay gives him the opportunity to take part in what is set to be a hotly contested staying affair.
The High Chaparral gelding was expected to make his Australian racing debut in The Legacy 2013 Badge Appeal Handicap (1600m) at Caulfield on August 17 but was withdrawn due to a foot abscess and had not recovered sufficiently to run in the Catercare Group Handicap (1500m) at Moonee Valley last Saturday.
The Legacy 2013 Badge Appeal Handicap was won in impressive fashion by OTI Racing-owned Pakal and in a testament to the ability of Araldo, jockey Glen Boss decided to take the ride on the five-year-old rather than partner Pakal in the Slickpix Stakes this weekend.
“When he (Boss) saw he needed one scratching I don’t think he was very happy, but now he’s made the field he’ll be happier anyway,” trainer Mike Moroney told AAP.
Araldo has form around some of the best horses in the world, finishing fourth behind European superstar Novellist in the Group 1 Gran Premier Del Jockey Club Italiano (2414m) at his last start, and was purchased to be a Caulfield Cup (2400m) and Melbourne Cup (3200m) horse.
Moroney said that the plan is to still to tackle the major staying events during the 2013 Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival but admits that Araldo will need to perform well just to quality for either race.
“We’d like to think we’re going to qualify for the Caulfield Cup,” Moroney said.
“We’ve probably got a bit to do to do it, but one of the reasons we wanted to give him a look around Caulfield was for that reason.”
Moroney has had previous success with imported European stayers, winning the 2011 Group 1 Mackinnon Stakes (2000m) with the enigmatic Glass Harmonium.