Trainer Mike Moroney will wait until he sees the fields for the Listed Christmas Cup (2400m) and the Listed Werribee Cup (2600m) before making a decision on which race imported stayer Garud will contest.
Garud raced consistently during the 2013 Spring Racing Carnival, finishing third in the Listed The Sofitel (1400m), third in the Group 3 David Jones Cup (2000m), fifth in the Group 3 Lexus Stakes (2500m) and sixth in the Group 3 Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2600m), and despite his flop in the Listed Ballarat Cup (2200m) will likely head into whichever race he contests as one of the favourites.
Moroney told TVN that there are pros and cons for both the Christmas Cup at the Randwick Kensington track on Saturday and the Werribee Cup on Sunday and will wait until the final acceptances are released later today before making a decision; with the leading trainer hopeful that Garud can return to his best form and record his maiden victory at Listed level in either race.
“I’m going to wait and have a look at both races before we make a decision where he goes,” Moroney said.
“The race in Sydney looks like it might fall away to six or seven runners, which is why we entered him for that, and the Werribee Cup is on our doorstep, so we’ll have a good look at both races before making any decision.
“He got completely knocked off his feet in the first lap (in the Ballarat Cup), and he hated the heavy 9 track, so we’re just forgetting he went around.”
Garud had three starts in Great Britain under the care of Marco Botti in 2011 before being imported to Australia at the end of 2011 and making his debut for Moroney with a win in the Dowling Forest Equine Handicap (1400m) in Ballarat in May.
The five-year-old performed well during the spring of 2012, failing to miss a placing in the first six runs of his campaign, and after finishing second behind Verdant in the Lavazza Long Black Handicap (2800m) at Flemington on Melbourne Cup Day was stepped-up in class for the Group 2 Zipping Classic (2400m) but finished at the tail of the field.
The imported galloper had a brief autumn campaign but was able to stamp himself as a Group level performer with his consistent results in staying events this spring.
Moroney has had past success in the Werribee Cup, taking out the 2008 edition of the race with talented stayer Mandela.