Trainer Shaune Ritchie believes that Military Move is in great order ahead of the 2014 Tattersall’s Cup, but admitted that he does not expect the veteran gelding to win the Group 3 event at Eagle Farm on Saturday.
Military Move made his Australian racing debut with a ninth place finish in the Group 2 Hollindale Stakes (1800m) at the Gold Coast on May 3 and made up fair ground to finish sixth in the Group 3 Premier’s Cup (2200m) at Doomben on May 24.
The Group 2 Brisbane Cup (2400m) at Eagle Farm on June 7 was the initial 2014 Brisbane Winter Racing Carnival goal for Military Move but, after his Premier’s Cup performance, Ritchie decided to target the Toowoomba Cup with the Volksraad gelding and that decision paid dividends when the seven-year-old record a strong victory.
“We decided to downgrade here,” Ritchie said.
“We were planning to run him in the Brisbane Cup, but we just felt that if we had run him in that race he would have been reasonably competitive, but not made much prizemoney.
“The Toowoomba Cup was a $100,000 race and we thought it was well within his range, so we decided to go with the better prizemoney and win that race.
“We thought that the weight wouldn’t be much of a problem against a decent downgrade in quality horse.
“He probably needed to win it to justify a spot in a race like the Tatt’s Cup, but he the weight well up in Toowoomba and won nice.
“He has got to rise again probably, but he is in good order.”
Military Move will be carrying the top weight of 58 kilograms in the 2014 Tattersall’s Cup this weekend and Ritchie believes that the rising eight-year-old will need plenty of luck with the big weight from barrier ten.
While Ritchie does not rate Military Move a winning chance, he has been happy with the condition of the New Zealand Derby winner and said that he has taken plenty of confidence out of his Toowoomba Cup win.
“Sometimes these older horses from a win like that gain a bit of confidence and he has done exactly that,” Ritchie said.
“His work on Tuesday morning was the best that he has given us since he has been back from Hong Kong and I think that he is in great order.
“He has certainly improved on each run he has had here during the Brisbane Carnival.
“It is a strong field on Saturday and I don’t expect him to be winning, but I think that he will be running a big race.”
Military Move are currently available at 2014 Tattersall’s Cup odds of $15; with Queensland Oaks winner Tinto ($2.60) a narrow favourite from Wish Come True ($3.80) and Pretty Pins ($5).