Trainer Peter Moody Is hoping that Lidari can stamp himself as a genuine Caulfield Cup hope by winning the 2014 Underwood Stakes at Caulfield on Saturday.
Lidari has produced his best form over a mile since he arrived in Australia, taking out the Group 2 Blamey Stakes (1600m) at Flemington earlier this year, but he performed well in races up to 2400 metres during his racing career in Europe.
Moody told Racing Ahead that he has been delighted with the way that Lidari has relaxed in both the Group 2 P.B. Lawrence Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield on August 16 and Group 2 Dato’ Tan Chin Nam Stakes (1600m) at Moonee Valley on September 6 and the leading Melbourne trainer said that he is hopeful that the Acclamation entire would be able to run out a strong 2400 metres in a race like the Group 1 Caulfield Cup (2400m).
“He is really relaxing for the first time ever this bloke and I think training like a mile and a half horse,” Moody said.
“The fact that he is relaxing in his races is going to give him a great opportunity to get to distances that his European form suggested that he would be far better suited.
“His European form suggests that a mile and a half would be ideal and I would love to be winning a race like this and dictate a path into a race like the Caulfield Cup.”
The 2014 Underwood Stakes field is set to feature only ten runners and there does not look to be a great deal of early speed in the Group 1 event.
Moody believes that jockey Luke Nolen should be able to position Lidari just behind the likely leader Star Rolling in the early stages of the race, but is unsure whether a slow early tempo will suit the OTI Racing-owned galloper.
“I thought that Peter Morgan’s horse probably rolls forward and I can just see him jumping out and travelling in the box seat,” Moody said.
“In saying that is a walk, trot and canter going to suit him?
“He did win the Blamey at Flemington under those circumstances, but probably against slightly lesser competition, so I wouldn’t think that he will be too far away from the draw.
“He is never far away in this grade and for the first time ever I am looking forward to getting him up over 1800 metres and beyond.”
Lidari is currently available at 2014 Underwood Stakes odds of $11, while Group 1 winning mare Silent Achiever remains a clear favourite ($3.20) from Chris Waller-trained Foreteller ($4.80).