Trainer Michael Moroney believes that Araldo will take plenty of benefit out of his first-up run in the Heatherlie Handicap at Caulfield on Saturday as he works towards the 2014 Caulfield Cup in October.
Araldo beat home just a single runner when he made his Australian racing debut in the race now known as the Australian Thoroughbred Bloodstock Stakes, but he bounced back from that poor effort to finish third in the Listed Penang Trophy (1800m), win the Listed Bart Cummings (2520m) on protest and finished a close third in the Group 3 Lexus Stakes (2500m).
The High Chaparral entire suffered a stress fracture in the Lexus Stakes, but Moroney believes that the six-year-old has recovered from the issue and the leading Melbourne trainer told Racing Ahead that he is delighted with the physical condition of the imported galloper heading into the Listed Heatherlie Handicap (1700m) this weekend.
“He is a lovely horse to look at now and he is very mature to look at,” Moroney said.
“We left him as an entire and whether that ends up being the right thing we will find out, but he was always lovely to handle so we left him that way.
“He has had those two jump outs and he had a pretty decent blow after both of those, so I would expect that whatever he does Saturday he will just keep improving.
“He still looks a bit burly to look at.
“I think he has worked Australia out a bit more now.”
Moroney revealed last month that the Group 1 Melbourne Cup (3200m) was once again on the agenda for Araldo and he said this morning that he would also like to see the entire run in the Group 1 Caulfield Cup (2400m) on October 18.
The Melbourne Cup winning trainer admits that Araldo would likely need to win the Group 3 Naturalism Stakes (2000m) at Caulfield on September 20 to earn a place in the 2014 Caulfield Cup field and he confirmed Araldo would head to the $150,000 race after resuming in the Heatherlie Handicap on Saturday.
“It is very similar to last year,” Moroney said when asked what path Araldo will follow during the 2014 Spring Racing Carnival.
“We would like to be able to take the Caulfield Cup in if we could, but that will depend on the Naturalism I think, which will be his next run after this.
“We will just try and make our way into the Caulfield Cup.”
Moroney is chasing his first win the Caulfield Cup after finishing third in the 2010 edition of the race with Monaco Consul.