Craven Plate winner Mourayan will now head back to Melbourne for the major Spring Cups after producing a tough winning performance at Randwick today.
Leading jockey Hugh Bowman gave Mourayan a sweet run behind leader Herculian Prince and after putting pressure on the leader coming to the home turn was able to hold off all the challenges to score a dogged win in the Group 3 $125,000 APN Outdoor Craven Plate(2000m).
Winning owner Vince Sammartino was very happy with the tough win but will leave it up to senior owners Lloyd and Nick Williams to confirm a return to Melbourne.
“We know he’s tough, it was a great win. I’ll leave that up to Lloyd and Nick to sought that out. Very happy today,” Sammartino said.
Mourayan is nominated for both the Group 1 $2.5m BMW Caulfield Cup (2400m) at Caulfield on October 20 and the Group 1 $6m Emirates Melbourne Cup (3200m) at Flemington on November 6 and no doubt has enhanced his chances with today’s win.
Bowman was happy to take it up to the leader Herculian Prince coming to the home turn and knew that the rest of the field would have trouble getting past him.
“I’ve ridden this horse enough to know him, 2000m is short of his best distance, we know that, he’s a genuine staying type. I really put the pressure on and got him rolling from about the 700m,” Bowman said.
“When Nash came to me, I didn’t know it was him to be honest. When they could only get to within half a length of me, I thought well it was going to take a good horse to beat him. He fights like a caged dog and he’s just a thorough enjoy to ride.”
Mourayan was always firm in the betting and started the $2.50 favourite and was able to hold off Western Symbol ($5.50) by a head at the finish with Dare To Dream ($10) also finishing strongly for third, a long neck away.