Trainer Mike Moroney’s confidence is growing by the minute for the chances of Glass Harmonium in the Group 1 $1m Dubai Australian Cup (2000m) at Flemington tomorrow.
With the shock scratching of ruling favourite Lucas Cranach, the Australian Cup is reduced to a high quality field of eight with the David Hayes trained Americain regaining favouritism.
“It’s a good field, but my horse is as good as any of those over 2000m around here,” Moroney said.
Moroney couldn’t be happier with the progress of Glass Harmonium and expects the six year old to take up his usual front running roll.
“There appears not a lot of speed on. I expect Illo might go forward with the blinkers on, but it appears we’re the only real pace in the race,” he said.
Moroney is sure he has all his bases covered with Glass Harmonium who has won at Flemington over 2000m, is fitter for one run from a spell, his style of racing suited the big spaces of Flemington and an outside barrier will allow jockey Damien Oliver let him roll to front at his own tempo.
“This has been his main target and he ticks all the boxes. He loves Flemington and this is the race he’s been aimed at,” he said.
“I’m happy he’s drawn out a bit. He can take his time to get across if he’s a bit slow away.”
Glass Harmonium showed his liking for the 2000m trip at Flemington when he led all of the way for Oliver to win the Group 1 $m Longines Mackinnon Stakes last October.
And he was just pipped at the post by December Draw in the Group 1 $500,000 Turnbull Stakes (2000m) at Flemington two runs before the Mackinnon.
Moroney and Oliver were quite happy with first up effort when fourth to Lucas Cranach in the Group 2 $200,000 Carlton Draught Peter Young Stakes (1800m) at Caulfield two weeks ago.
“I spoke to Ollie after it. He said it was a pretty good effort to lead and do what he did,” Moroney said.
“He just found the last bit first-up a little bit tough on him, but he battled back hard. He’s done a bit more work since and tightened up a bit more. He should strip as fit as you can get him.”
Caulfield Cup winner Southern Speed had genuine excuses for her lack lustre fifth in the Peter Young Stakes and trainer Leon Macdonald is willing to forgive her for the run.
“You’ve got to say she was a bit disappointing but I think you can make reasons for it,” Macdonald said.
Jockey Craig Williams was caught three wide without cover on Southern Speed and Macdonald thinks she didn’t handle the conditions on the day.
If the four year old mare performs up to expectations she will head to Sydney for the Group 1 $400,000 Ranvet Stakes (2000m) at Rosehill on March 24 and the Group 1 $2.25m The BMW (2400m) at Rosehill on Golden Slipper day.