Trainer Mike Moroney is still hoping that Araldo can earn a place in the 2014 Caulfield Cup field, but is now eyeing the Group 3 Geelong Cup (2400m) on October 22 as another possible option for the imported stayer, if he does not receive a start in the Group 1 event at Caulfield on Saturday.
Araldo was 31st in the 2014 Caulfield Cup order of entry before the final acceptances were taken this morning and was named as second emergency behind Brambles when the final field was released after 9am.
The High Chaparral entire needs at two runners in the 2014 Caulfield Cup field to be withdrawn from the race to earn a start in the $3 million and Moroney admits that does not seem particularly likely at this stage.
Moroney is still desperate to qualify Araldo for the 2014 Melbourne Cup and he told TVN that he is now leaning to running the six-year-old in the Geelong Cup and hoping that he can earn a weight penalty from Racing Victoria Chief Handicapper Greg Carpenter by winning the race.
“We would love to run in the Caulfield Cup but if that doesn’t eventuate, the Geelong Cup is the next best option,” Moroney said.
“I thought his run in Sydney in the Metropolitan (third behind Junoob) was very good, he had to overcome a bit of trouble and found the line strongly.
“The Melbourne Cup is the goal, that is where we want to end up and it is just a matter of getting him there.”
Araldo missed out on a run in the 2013 Melbourne Cup after suffering an injury when third in the Group 3 Lexus Stakes (2500m) at Flemington on Victoria Derby Day last year, but has returned to the races in excellent form.
The tough stayer resumed with a credible seventh in the Listed Australian Thoroughbred Bloodstock Stakes (1700m) at Caulfield on August 30 and was far from disgraced in the Group 3 Naturalism Stakes (2000m) at Caulfield on September 20 before he worked home strongly to finish third behind Junoob and Opinion in the Group 1 The Metropolitan (2400m) at Royal Randwick on October 4.
Araldo is currently available at 2014 Caulfield Cup odds of $41, while he is available at a quote of $51 to win the 2014 edition of the Melbourne Cup.