Trainer Mike Moroney rates Garud a winning chance in the 2014 Ipswich Cup this weekend, but admits that he is not happy with the imported stayer’s barrier draw for the Listed event.
Garud has performed fairly in three starts this preparation, highlighted by third place finishes in both the Cleanevent Handicap (1800m) at Flemington on May 10 and the Banjo Patterson Series (2000m) at Flemington on May 24, and Moroney believes that the High Chaparral gelding is at close to peak fitness for the Ipswich Cup this weekend.
While Moroney is happy with the physical condition of Garud, he was less impressed with the Ipswich Cup barrier draw and he told Racing Ahead that the six-year-old will need plenty of luck after jumping from barrier 13.
“He should really strip towards his best for this race,” Moroney said.
“I thought that his last two runs were good, but I just wish that he had drawn a better barrier than that because he is a horse that you can sneak forward on to a degree and he will relax if you can get cover with him.
“From that draw we are probably going to be forced to go back a wee bit and we have to hope that they will run the race truly.
“They usually do around Ipswich and he is a nice horse, but the barrier draw isn’t going to be a help for him at all.”
A number of runners in the 2014 Ipswich Cup field are expected to back-up in the Listed Caloundra City Cup (2400m) at the Sunshine Coast on June 28, but Moroney revealed that Garud is a better chance of backing-up in the Group 3 Tattersall’s Club (2200m) next Saturday.
Moroney won the 2012 edition of the Caloundra Cup with Shenzhou Steeds on a heavy track, but is worried that Garud will not be able to run out a strong 2400 metres on what he expects to be a rain affected surface at the Sunshine Coast once again.
“There is a chance that we are keener on the Tatt’s Cup the following week and if he came through all right we would back him up,” Moroney said.
“We have been a bit of a question mark over him getting 2400 metres in heavy ground and they have had a fair bit of rain there compared to Brisbane and that track has been racing slow to heavy recently.
“We will study the weather forecast, but more than likely he will back up in the Tatt’s Cup.”
Garud is currently available at 2014 Ipswich Cup odds of $7; with Ironstein ($5.50) a narrow favourite from Brave Ali ($7) and expected scratching Full Of Spirit ($9).