Trainer Mike Moroney will head to the Caulfield Guineas with Merion after the three year old was back in the winner’s stall after a narrow win in the Listed $120,000 Living Legends Stakes (1400m) at Flemington today.
Top Melbourne jockey Steven Arnold was able to get enough out of Merion ($14) to hold the $2.90 favourite Chivalry who failed by a nose to run down the winner.
Merion was having his second run back from a spell after finishing fourth first up in the Listed $120,000 Essendon Nissan McKenzie Stakes (1200m) at Moonee Valley on August 23.
Moroney knows that there is further improvement in the O’Reilly gelding and will concentrate on preparing him for a start in the Group 1 $1m BECK Caulfield Guineas (1600m) at Caulfield on October 11.
“He has always been a very smart horse,” Moroney said.
“He just hasn’t turned in the coat yet, he still has a lot of improvement left in it, but he is a really seriously little horse.”
“Our thought was always to go to the Guineas and first thoughts are that we will get there.”
Runner Chivalry wasn’t disgraced to go down by the narrowest of margins and ran on strongly from well back in the field and is also heading towards the Caulfield Guineas.
The Street Cry colt also had to overcome a pre-race disruption when he wasn’t happy to be re-saddled behind the barrier after his saddle slipped on the way to the starting gates