Merion On Trial for Sydney in Australian Guineas

By: Bridget Wright
March 3rd, 2015

The Michael Moroney-trained Merion currently sits at number 20 in the Group 1 Australian Guineas (1600m) order of entry, for which a total of 29 three-year-olds are nominated.

Merion (inside) will be on trial for a trip to Sydney during the Group 1 Australian Guineas.

Merion (inside) will be on trial for a trip to Sydney during the Group 1 Australian Guineas. Photo by Race Horse Photos Australia.

The luckless gelding will be on trial for a trip to Sydney later in the autumn when he lines-up at Flemington this Saturday.

“He’ll be on trial for Sydney at Flemington on Saturday,” Moroney told TVN’s Bruce Clark during track-work Tuesday morning.

“There are lots of options for a good three-year-old like him up there so we’ll see how he runs here first.”

Merion won his two debut starts last autumn, including the Listed Anzac Day Stakes (1410m) at Flemington on April 25. When the gelding resumed in the spring he won the Listed Living Legends Stakes (1400m) in September but ran unplaced in both the Group 1 Caulfield Guineas (1600m) and Group 3 Caulfield Classic (2000m) the following month.

Moroney advised that the gelding would be spelled and not run again during the spring after he ran ninth in the Caulfield Classic, nine and a half lengths behind winner Fontein Ruby.

Following three months in the spelling paddock, Merion resumed for a minor placing in the William Hill Plate (1300m) at Sandown on February 7 before tackling the Group 3 CS Hayes Stakes (1400m) two weeks later. Merion tried hard but never looked like winning, finishing fourth to Wandjina.

Moroney is confident the gelding can improve in the 2015 Australian Guineas this Saturday, a race he’s been aimed at. There will be no excuses for Merion, however the trainer is hoping for a decent barrier draw.

“This is the race we’ve aimed him at and he’s had two runs now,” Moroney continued.

“He should be nice and fit after those two runs and he had a good blow after the last one, so he should be ready to run well,” he added.

“He desperately needs a good barrier draw so we can ride him with a bit of cover just off the speed.

“We’ve aimed him to peak for this race so there are no excuses.”

The 2015 Australian Guineas final field and barrier draw will be released Wednesday morning. Check back at horseracing.com.au for all the latest news and updates.

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