Imported stayer Marden has been entered for the 2014 Perth Cup (2400m) after connections opted to pay the $11,000 late entry fee for the Group 2 event at Ascot on New Year’s Day.
Marden was imported from Europe by Sydney trainer Chris Waller in 2011 and contested staying events right around New South Wales before being purchased by a syndicate of Western Australian-based owners and joining the stable of Adam Durrant at the end of last week.
Durrant fell just short of winning the Perth Cup with Mr Moet last year, who will now head to Sydney to join the Waller stable, and is confident that Marden has the talent to give him his second win in the $400,000 race.
“He’s travelled over beautifully and is eating up well,” Durrant told The West Australian.
“He’s a consistent type and he’ll be competitive in cups races here.”
Marden has been up and running since July but appears to have improved the further that he gets into his campaign; winning the Blue Moon Racing Handicap at Caulfield on December 7 in his last start for the Waller stable.
The Danehill Dancer gelding started his campaign with a third place finish behind Eigelstein in the Imperial Hotel Handicap (1400m) at Randwick on July 27 before failing to perform at his best in the Calcoup Knitwear Handicap (1600m) and the St Johns Park Bowling Club Handicap (1800m).
He returned to a semblance of his best form with credible performances in the TAB Rewards Handicap (2400m) and Tab.Com.Au Handicap (2000m) before finishing a most unlucky third behind Multilateral and Spurtonic in the Kari Aboriginal Resources Handicap (1900m) at Rosehill Gardens on September 28.
Marden had no luck again when third in the Adina Apartment Hotels Handicap (2000m) and was vetted after performing poorly over 2000 metres at Rosehill Gardens but bounced back with a second place finish behind Mulaqen in the McGrath Estate Agents Handicap (2000m).
The five-year-old made his racing debut in Melbourne with a third place finish behind Zephyron and Electric Fusion before breaking through for the fifth victory of his career in the Blue Moon Racing Handicap just over two weeks ago.
Marden ($10) is currently on the sixth line of Perth Cup betting markets behind Rohan ($6), Black Tycoon ($6.50), Pop Culture ($6.50), Kincaple ($7) and Knightlike ($9).