Perth’s leading trainer Adam Durrant is hoping Mr Moet can farewell the west by defending his title in the Group 2 $250,000 LD Total – C.B. Cox Stakes (2100m) at Ascot on Saturday.
Mr Moet hasn’t collected a winner’s cheque since beating Chester Road and Ranger in last year’s CB Cox Stakes and Durrant says the six year old is going well enough to win before he heads off to join the Chris Waller stable in Sydney.
“He’s in good health, he’s working well and he’s going well enough to win,” Durrant said.
Mr Moet was racing in the best form off his career twelve months ago and as well as winning the weight for age Cox Stakes, collected his only Group 1 trophy in beating Luckygray in the Group 1 $1m Carlton Draught-Railway Stakes (1600m) at Ascot first up.
The then five year old had to settle for second when Luckygray reversed the placings in the Group 1 $500,000 TAB Touch.Mobi – Kingston Town Classic (1800m) at Ascot two weeks later.
Durrant said that the step up to 2100m will be in Mr Moet’s favour at the end of a long campaign and his dourness and fitness will be to his advantage.
“Now we are getting over the longer journeys with the genuine sort of stayers with the stamina, I think he’ll come to the fore,” Durrant said.
“He’s in good nick and still working well.”
“He’s a bit older now and a little bit dour after his long preparation and he’s more grinding away than dashing home.”
Mr Moet has settled at the tail of the field in his last two runs and has found it hard to make up enough ground in the moderately run races.
He was beaten two and three quarter lengths when seventh to Luckygray in this year’s Railway Stakes two runs back then finished two lengths behind Ihtsahymn when fifth in the Kingston Town Classic.
Durrant has ventured across to Melbourne with Mr Moet on two occasions this year with stints in the Autumn and the Spring Carnivals but failed to bring home a winning trophy.
The geldings best results in the Autumn was a third to All Too Hard in the Group 1 $400,000 Sportingbet C.F. Orr Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield while in the Spring he wasn’t too far off the mark with a sixth in the Group 1 $2.5m BMW Caulfield Cup (2400m) at Caulfield and a fourth in the Group 1 $1m Longines Mackinnon Stakes (2000m) at Flemington.
But Durrant still thinks that Mr Moet has the goods to be competitive at the big carnivals but is finding it hard to travel for long periods away his Perth base which is why Mr Moet is being transferred to the all-conquering Waller stable.
“He will head to Sydney after the Cox Stakes and leave my camp for a preparation over there in the autumn,” Durrant said.
“Chris Waller at this stage is going to take him on.
“It is just too hard with my team at home to get away and there is really good prizemoney in Sydney this year.
“Obviously I want to get him use to the different direction, being a six year old running in the same direction all his life, and I think that it is important he gets some experience running the other way.
“I wouldn’t be able to do that before he races so I think that the best thing to do for the connections and the horse is to give him a proper prep and why wouldn’t you give him to the best.
“He will probably improve a couple of lengths and hopefully they can kick a goal with him.”
Mr Moet is currently on the third line of betting for the CB Cox Stakes at $4.60 behind Luckygray at $3.60 and Ihtsahymn at $3.80.
The Vaughn Sigley trained Rohan is the next in the market order at $9 with Playing God at $12.