Drunken Sailor has been a repeat traveller from the UK during the Melbourne spring carnival and now the gutsy stayer will race all year round out of his new Australian base.
Mike Moroney is the man assigned the task of creating yet another success story out of a European staying import.
That campaign starts tomorrow in race one on the Caulfield Australia Day program, a first up assignment that looks like being a tricky little affair.
Just seven horses accepted for the race and with a scratching already Drunken Sailor will have only five rivals.
On class and rating he’s the best horse in the race but there’s a few things working against him.
Firstly the race is only over 1800m, he’s coming back from a decent spell and he’s been lumped with a 62.5kg top weight.
That weight will be counteracted a bit with Jake Duffy’s 3kg claim but apart from that there’s nothing Moroney can do but watch what happens.
“It’ll be good to see, it’s a little bit hard to get a handle on him,” Moroney said.
“We’re really happy with him he looks terrific, should be interesting.”
Drunken Sailor was always a notoriously poor track worker during his Melbourne Cup campaigns and Moroney has noticed a bit of that relaxed attitude.
“He’s just a real tough looking stayer, been really happy with the way he’s settled in, just takes everything in his stride,” he said.
As for tomorrow he feels there’s a chance the horse might have enough zip to be a threat over 1800m.
“He’s forward enough to run the 1800m, he’s got a little bit of form below that 1800m but most of his form is at a mile and a half,” he said.
As for the other question marks Moroney says they’re neither unexpected nor unsolvable.
“We thought that first up that’s what we’d do, we knew the race we picked he’d get a fair bit of weight,” he said.
“In some way the small field may help him because he won’t be completely out of touch early.”
Drunken Sailor is unlikely to be targeted at the Australian Cup with the Group 1 deemed too short.
“Probably something a bit longer, we’ve got to toss up with the Mornington Cup or the Hobart Cup or Mornington into the Launceston cup,” he said.