While the main events of the Brisbane winter carnival are over the next few weeks around south-east Queensland are still a very important time for trainers.
Michael Moroney is one man who is using this next little period to try and determine which of his horses have the class to step up to the major city carnivals in their next campaigns.
One of the horses he’s most looking forward to seeing is the New Zealand import Shenzhou Steeds.
He’ll race at Doomben on Wednesday in the Darley Australia Handicap where he needs to back up his very impressive debut performance at Caloundra.
He won that June 5th event by nearly five lengths and Moroney is hoping he has the class to be a future stakes winner.
He brought him across from New Zealand for that exact purpose after his brother Paul spotted him when he was racing for Tony Pike at Cambridge.
“Paul spotted him the day he won his maiden a couple of months ago and we thought then he was was good enough to bring over here,” Moroney said.
“We think he’ll make a nice stayer later on and I haven’t ruled out giving him a chance in the spring in Melbourne.
“But it’s more likely he’ll spell up here and get ready for the summer races in Melbourne.”
It’s a very important little period for Shenzhou Steeds with an ultimate target being the Listed Sunshine Coast Guineas over a mile at Caloundra at the start of July.
“He’ll probably need to win this race tomorrow to get into the Guineas field,” Moroney said.
“It’s a big jump in class for him but his form in New Zealand was good and he’s a nice horse on the way up.
“He’s been over the distance before in New Zealand and he should be hard to beat.”
Moroney has a big stable and it’s still seeing plenty of action with 14 horses still in work at his Caloundra base.
“I won’t have an Ipswich Cup runner on Saturday but I’ve got Viking Hero getting ready for the Tatt’s Cup and Tinseltown for the Caloundra Cup,” he said.