Trainer Mike Moroney is confident that progressive mare Octavia can extend her winning streak when she contests the Group 2 Let’s Elope Stakes (1400m) at Flemington on Saturday.
Octavia has been incredibly impressive since she returned from a spell in June, with her unlucky second place finishes in the Simpson Construction Handicap (1200m) and Yarra Valley Farms Plate (1200m) followed by back-to-back victories in the Daniel McMillan Handicap (1200m) and the Group 3 W.W. Cockram Stakes (1200m).
The Holy Roman Emperor mare will step up in class again this weekend and will be racing over 1400 metres for the first time but Moroney still believes that she is a definite winning chance.
“Her work on Tuesday was outstanding and to be honest, we’ve always wanted to run her at 1400 meters,” Moroney told TVN.
“We think she’s getting better and better.
“When she won the Kevin Hayes it was her seventh run in that prep and it was the best she had gone, so I wouldn’t be dismissing her on anything she’s done so far.”
Octavia will be having just her second start at Flemington, after finishing third behind Spending in the Nouvelle Star Handicap (1000m) at the start of the year, and has generally raced at her best at Caulfield.
Moroney admits that he would have preferred if the race was at Caulfield and said that Octavia will be ridden a little bit quieter on Saturday, after leading at each of her starts so far this preparation.
“It’s a pity the race is not at Caulfield because she excels there and she doesn’t have to lead,” the Flemington-based trainer said.
Octavia will face a similar field in the Let’s Elope Stakes to the one she beat in the Cockram Stakes last start, with runner-up A Time For Julia and 2012 Thousand Guineas winner Commanding Jewel set to back up, while Group 1 winners Dear Demi and Quintessential will begin their 2013 Spring Racing Carnival campaigns in the race.