Araldo currently sits at 24 in the 2014 Melbourne Cup order of entry, but the ballot-exempt entry on offer to the winner of the Lexus Stakes means that the imported stayer is no certainty to earn a start in the Group 1 event at Flemington on November 4.
Araldo moved up the order of entry substantially after second declarations for the Melbourne Cup were taken yesterday, but at this point he would be pushed out of the Melbourne Cup field if a horse below him in the order of entry won the Group 3 Lexus Stakes (2500m) or Group 1 Mackinnon Stakes (2000m) at Flemington on Saturday.
Trainer Mike Moroney has the option of running Araldo in the Lexus Stakes to give him a chance to secure his place in the Melbourne Cup field, but he told Racing Ahead this morning that he would prefer not to run the High Chaparral entire on Saturday.
“It is something that I will be discussing with the owners,” Moroney said.
“My first thought is that we will probably pay up in the Lexus and that looks like the logical race to try and qualify him through if we have too.
“I would prefer not to run and just go straight into it, but it is either that or we take the risk of attrition and the fact that we are in now .
“He is a horse that sometimes doesn’t eat that flash after he runs and for that reason I would prefer not to.
“If it is the owners risk that they don’t want me to take the gamble than that is something we will have to consider.”
Moroney scored the biggest win of his training career when he took out the 2000 edition of the Melbourne Cup with Brew and he believes that there are a lot of similarities between his only Melbourne Cup winner and Araldo.
The leading trainer said that Brew went to another level in the lead-up to the Melbourne Cup and he believes that Araldo has done the same thing after his excellent runs in both the Group 1 The Metropolitan (2400m) and Group 1 Caulfield Cup (2400m).
“He is very much like Brew.
“I know that Brew was remembered as one of the last true stayers to win the Melbourne Cup, but the year that Brew won the Melbourne Cup he ran home in a fantastic time in the last 600 metres.
“He really matured that year and that is what this horse has done.
“He has been a slow maturing stayer and if you go through the times in the Caulfield Cup and The Metrop, he ran a couple of very quick furlongs.
“He has turned into a stayer that has a turn-of-foot now as well.
“They just tend to do that when they get older and he has really come of age now.
“He is certainly carrying more conditions and he looks stronger like Brew did at the same stage.”
Araldo is currently available at 2014 Melbourne Cup odds of $21 with leading online bookmaker Ladbrokes.