Trainer Ciaron Maher is delighted that veteran stayer Moudre will finally get his first chance at 3200 metres in the Listed Sandown Cup at Caulfield tomorrow.
Moudre has been set for the Group 1 Melbourne Cup (3200m) on a number of occasions but has never actually made it to ‘the race that stops a nation’.
The Blevic gelding missed the 2010 edition of the Melbourne Cup after finishing fourth behind Maluckyday in the Group 3 Lexus Stakes (2500m) before missing the entire 2013 Spring Racing Carnival due to injury.
He returned to racing during the 2012 Spring Racing Carnival but failed to fire in the lead-up to the Melbourne Cup, finishing 16th in the Group 1 Turnbull Stakes (2000m) and 14th in the Group 1 Caulfield Cup (2400m), and this year missed out on his chance to qualify for the Cup when he finished eighth behind Ruscello in the Lexus Stakes.
Maher said that the Melbourne Cup was the main goal again for Moudre this campaign but revealed that the Sandown Cup had always been the back-up plan for the eight-year-old who will be having his third run in as many weeks on Saturday after running in the Lexus on Victoria Derby Day and the Group 3 Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2600m) last weekend.
“He’s flying and yes, it’s his first go at the two-miles, but he’s ready for it and this was always going to be a race for him if we didn’t make the Melbourne Cup field,” Maher told TVN.
“His sectionals have been really good lately, it’s just that he has been getting so far back he’s been too far away from the leaders to reel them in.
“From a good draw tomorrow he should settle closer, I reckon they’ll hack around for a few minutes and hopefully he can get over the top of them this time.”
Moudre has been allocated the top weight of 58 kilograms for the Sandown Cup, with the rest of the field to carry 55 kilos, but Maher is confident that the tough gelding is well placed to record his first race win since his triumph in the 2010 Queen’s Cup.
“I know the weights are a bit funny but he probably deserves to carry more considering his record and I reckon this could be his race.”
Moudre is currently on the third line of Sandown Cup betting markets at odds of $7, behind imported stayer Caravan Rolls On ($3) and Carnival Handicap winner Mujadale.