English import Garud gets his chance to break his winning drought when he lines up in the Listed $175,000 Channel 7 Ipswich Cup (2150m) at Ipswich on Saturday.
Garud arrived in Australia after winning a 1677m Maiden at Nottingham in England in August 2011 and went on to win his first run for the Michael Moroney stable over 1400m at Ballarat in March 2012.
The High Chaparral’s only other win was over 2400m in a BenchMark78 at Geelong on October 24, 2012 and the six year old hasn’t visited the winner’s stall since.
But Moroney can see a more mature horse ready to tackle the 2150m at Ipswich with another win not far away.
“He’s a High Chaparral and taken a bit of time to work it all out,” Moroney told Racenet.
“He had a pretty solid spring last year and he copped it but we’ve been easier on him this time around and he’s looking better for it.”
Garud was placed on three occasions in the early part of the Spring last year, including a third to Spurtonic in the Group 3 $150,000 David Jones Cup (2000m) at Caulfield on October 19, but was then out of the prizemoney at his next five starts.
But from three runs this campaign Garud has finished third at his last two starts over 1800m and 2000m at Flemington which prompted Moroney to come to Queensland to tackle the Cup races at the end of the Winter Carnival.
Moroney can’t see the right handed way of going as a problem but concedes that the visitor’s draw at thirteen could be a minor hurdle.
“The barrier is a little bit of a worry, from there we’re probably going to have to go back but it looks like it will be truly run race, usually it is around Ipswich,” Moroney said.
“He’s a good chance apart from the barrier draw.”
“He’s been up at Caloundra for a couple of gallops and has done really well.”
“He won his maiden in England going right-handed, we’ve kept him a bit fresh and this looks a nice race for him.”
The Ipswich Cup field has been reduced to fifteen runners after Peter Moody decided to run equal top weight Full Of Spirit at Rosehill in the 2000m Freshmark Handicap but Garud will still have to jump from gate thirteen because Full Of Spirit had drawn outside him at fourteen.
Garud is prominent in the Ipswich Cup market order and is a $6.50 chance with Ladbrokes.com.au behind the Gerald Ryan trained Ironstein, the $4.60 favourite.
Also in contention is the Tony Gollan trained Brave Ali at $7, Victorian galloper Angola at $8.50 and High Aims from the Mornington stables of David Brideoake and David Feek at $9.