Trainer Mike Moroney believes that Garud is in the best form of his racing career to date and is confident that the imported galloper will be very tough to beat in the Piping Lane Handicap at Flemington tomorrow.
Garud started his summer preparation with a close third behind Mighty Like and Ringo in The Lola’s Gift Handicap (1400m) at Flemington on December 13 and he recorded his first race win in over two years when he took out the Woodford Cup (1700m) at Warrnambool on December 28.
Moroney told Racing Ahead that Garud is on track to make the trip to Tasmania for races like the Group 3 Hobart Cup (2400m) on February 9 and the Group 3 Launceston Cup (2400m) on February 25 and is confident that he can make it two wins on the trot in the Piping Lane Handicap this weekend.
“He looked well placed there and I think that he is going as well as he has ever gone,” Moroney said.
“He has finally got mature as he has always been six months behind because he was bred for Northern time.
“We are aiming all going well to get to the Cup races in Tasmania with him and this is on the way.
“He should be very hard to beat.”
Garud was settled just behind the leader in the early stages of the Woodford Cup, but he has shown plenty of tactical versatility throughout his racing career and he has performed well when settled towards the tail of the field and given the chance to run on.
Moroney believes that jockey Ryan Maloney will have a tricky time finding an ideal position for Garud when he jumps from barrier six in the Piping Lane Handicap and just hopes that the five-year-old is able to find some cover.
“It is a tricky draw; he has drawn six out of 12 runners and it is not the easiest gate,” Moroney said.
“He is just going to need some luck from that draw.
“He drew well last time so we used that advantage and he got a nice bit of cover.
“He is a horse that does relax with cover and that is going to be the trick from that draw.”
Garud has recorded just win race wins since he made his Australian racing debut in 2012, but he has produced credible performances in races like the Group 3 David Jones Cup (2000m), Group 3 Lexus Stakes (2500m) and Group 3 Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2600m).