German import Araldo will make his Australian racing debut in the Legacy 2013 Badge Appeal Handicap (1600m) at Caulfield on Saturday.
The High Chaparral entire joined the stable of trainer Michael Moroney earlier this year after a brief racing career in Europe that was highlighted by a fourth place finish behind European superstar Novellist in the Group 1 Gran Premio Del Jockey Club Italiano (2414m).
Moroney was hoping to get the five-year-old ready for the Brisbane Winter Carnival but a foot abscess ended those plans and he was sent to the spelling paddock.
The Melbourne Cup winning trainer told Racing Ahead that Araldo has progressed well since returning to work and is starting to acclimatize to Australian racing conditions.
“He has settled in really well, he is a lovely horse to deal with,” Moroney said on RSN.
“When we first saw him he was a light, rangy sort of horse but he is certainly a lot stronger now but with a different training regime you just never know until you get them to the races.
“He has had a couple of jump-outs here, he nearly got run off his feet in the first run but the second one went a lot better.
“He is a really nice horse and he is starting to work the whole thing out here.”
In Europe, Araldo previously raced over much longer distances than the mile he will contest on Saturday but Moroney is hopeful a new training regime will have him ready to fire over the shorter distance.
“The interesting thing for us is that we have trained him a wee bit differently just to see how sharp he is over a mile and it’s nice starting point for him,” Moroney said.
“He will be reliant on good speed in the race, if it is a canter round and a sprint home that will be a disadvantage for him.
“It is really dependent on the pace but if they run along true enough we would be disappointed if he doesn’t run in the first three or four.”
Araldo has been nominated for both the Group 1 Caulfield Cup (2400m) and the Group 1 Cox Plate (2040m) but will need to improve his rating if he is going to quality for either event.
Moroney said the entire will run in the Listed Heatherlie Handicap(1700m) at Caulfield on August 31 with qualification for the Caulfield Cup his ultimate spring goal although he may have to win a ballot exempt race like the Group 3 Naturalism Stakes (2000m) to make the final field.