Garud is set to contest the 2015 Eclipse Stakes at Sandown on Saturday and trainer Mike Moroney believes that the veteran gelding is well-placed in the Group 3 event.
Garud has not recorded a race win since he took out the Woodford Cup at Warrnambool on December 28, but he has performed well without winning during the 2015 Spring Racing Carnival.
The High Chaparral gelding returned to the races in the Spring Is The Season Handicap (1700m) at Flemington on September 12 and he toughed it out to the finish for third behind Iggimacool and He Or She.
Garud produced another strong effort to finish third behind Turn Me Loose and Scream Machine in the Listed Seymour Cup (1600m) on October 18 – form that was franked when Turn Me Loose subsequently won the Group 2 Crystal Mile (1600m) at Moonee Valley on October 24 and the Group 1 Emirates Stakes (1600m) last weekend – before he finished third behind Awesome Rock and Malice in the Listed James Boag’s Symphony Stakes (1800m) at Flemington on November 3.
Moroney told Racing.com that a new training regime has worked wonders with Garud this preparation and he is hopeful that the eight-year-old can return to winning form in the 2015 Eclipse Stakes.
“As he’s gotten older he’s a horse that needs to be kept fresh,” Moroney said.
“We’ve found that when we train him as a sprinter and restrict his races to under 2000m he’s coping with it really well.
“He’s got some form around really nice horses.
“It looks a good race for him and he’s going really well.”
Garud started his racing career under the care of Marco Botti in France and he was sent to Australia before the 2011 Spring Racing Carnival, but never developed into the Melbourne Cup contender that he was purchased to be.
However, Garud has still been a very consistent performer for the Moroney stable and he has earnt prizemoney in all but three of his starts in Australia, while he was placed at Group level in the 2013 David Jones Cup.
A total of 31 horses have been included in the 2015 Eclipse Stakes nominations and Garud could take on the likes of Australian Cup placegetter Extra Zero, Darren Weir-trained Puccini, Villiers Stakes winner Rudy, Lindsay Park-trained Jacquinot Bay, Godolphin-owned Malice, Nigel Blackison-trained Desert Jeuney, Tavern Stakes winner Worthy Cause and last start winner Digitalism.