Sea Moon will have his final race start before the Group 1 Melbourne Cup (3200m) in the Group 3 Lexus Stakes (2500m) at Flemington on Victoria Derby Day.
Sea Moon has already had four starts during the 2013 Spring Racing Carnival but the Macedon Lodge team of Lloyd Williams has opted to follow the traditional path to the Melbourne Cup and run the imported stayer on Derby Day.
The five-year-old came to Australia at the end of last year under heavy wraps, after he beat Dunaden and Red Cadeaux to win the Group 2 Hardwicke Stakes (2414m), but took a while to acclimatize to the Australian style of racing.
Sea Moon made his Australian racing debut in the Group 1 Makybe Diva Stakes (1600m) at Flemington but finished 12th after almost falling at the start and beat home just a single runner in the Group 1 Underwood Stakes (1800m) at Caulfield.
The Beat Hollow entire dropped back in class to contest the Listed The Bart Cummings (2520m) and was the first horse to cross the line but was relegated to second position after Racing Victoria controversially upheld a protest from second placegetter Araldo.
Williams made the unusual move to back the five-year-old up just a week later in the Group 2 Herbert Power Stakes (2400m) and was awarded when Sea Moon outstayed Oasis Bloom and Simenon to finally record his first win in Australia.
Nick Williams told Sky Racing HQ this morning that Sea Moon would contest the Lexus Stakes before tackling the Melbourne Cup and said the Lexus is the ideal lead-up race for the highly-rated stayer.
“He will go to the Lexus on Derby Day; we were thinking about running him in the Mackinnon but he gets into the Lexus really well and he is a mile and a half horse,” Williams said.
“The race is a 60kg maximum and he will go in there and have every chance.
“At 60kg he effectively gets the benefit of two or three kilos in the weight.
“He is incredibly well in so it is the logical race to put him in.
“I’m sure that he will appreciate the wide expansions of Flemington and I’m sure that he will go really well.”
Williams also confirmed that Mourayan will head straight to the Melbourne Cup, rather than contest the Group 2 Drake International Cup (2500m), as will Caulfield Cup winner Fawkner.
The Williams team is set to have seven runners in the Melbourne Cup; with Green Moon, Sea Moon, Fawkner, Mourayan, Tanby, Masked Marvel and Seville all on track to contest ‘the race that stops a nation’.