Trainer Mike Moroney is confident that lightly-raced colt Marwood can return to his best form in the Group 1 Caulfield Guineas (1600m) at Caulfield on Saturday.
Marwood started his racing career with dominant wins in Seymour and Bendigo and was well-backed heading into the Group 3 Caulfield Guineas Prelude (1400m) but finished fourth, more than five lengths behind the winner Éclair Big Bang.
Moroney told Racing Ahead this morning that the son of O’reilly was found to be suffering from pharyngitis after the race but said the three-year-old had recovered from the problem and is set to produce a much stronger effort this weekend.
“After the race he started coughing and Nick Hall was adamant that there was something not right with him on the day,” Moroney said.
“He has ridden him and he just knows that when he sprints he has a dynamic sprint and when he asked him to go he just didn’t quicken at all.
“I thought it might have been the ground but no matter what I said to Nick he thought that something was wrong with him.
“We had him scoped and he had a bit of pharyngitis and a fair bit of gunk in his throat.
“It was a big surprise for us really.”
Marwood will jump from barrier seven with Melbourne Cup winning jockey Brett Prebble on-board and Moroney is confident that the classy colt will get a lovely run into the race.
“He should be able to posy up in the first four or five I would all things being equal,” Moroney said.
“He is the sort of horse that can be ridden either way.
“If they are going to go a little bit hard he can drop in.
“It wasted a very good ride at Caulfield last time; Nick got him across into a lovely spot from the draw.
“He has got that bit of tactical speed and he is pretty push button to ride.”
Moroney has not had much success in the Caulfield Guineas, with Quarterbar (2010) and Tully Dane (2001) both finishing in the second half of the field, but he believes that this year he has the right horse in the race.
“We are really happy with him,” Moroney said.
“He had a hiccup but he is over that now and his work here the other day was very good.
“We are going into it with a bit of confidence and knowing that we have the right horse.”