Sea Moon was far from disgraced in his first campaign in Australia, but co-owner Nick Williams is hoping that the imported galloper will an even better horse when he returns to the races during the 2014 Spring Racing Carnival.
Sea Moon arrived in Australia at the end of 2012, after previously prepared by Sir Michael Stoute in Europe and made a slow start to his Australian racing career by finishing 12th in the Group 1 Makybe Diva Stakes (1600m) at Flemington on September 7, after nearly falling at the start and 13th in the Group 1 Underwood Stakes (1800m) at Caulfield on September 21.
The Beat Hollow entire produced an improved performance in the Listed The Bart Cummings (2520m) at Flemington on October 5, but he was stripped of the race on protest before scoring his first Australian win in the Group 2 Herbert Power Stakes (2400m) at Caulfield on October 12.
Sea Moon was well-supported in the lead-up to the Group 1 Melbourne Cup (3200m) at Flemington on November 5, but he was never able to get into the race and he finished a disappointing 13th.
Williams told Racing Ahead this morning that Sea Moon was not at his best in the 2013 Melbourne Cup and he believes that the rising seven-year-old will be at his peak for his upcoming spring campaign after having more time to acclimatise to Australian racing conditions.
“I think we learnt a lot,” Williams said.
“We fiddled around with him and he was over the top by the time that Melbourne Cup day came around obviously.
“He ran very well two weeks in a row in The Bart Cummings and at Caulfield a week later in the Herbert Power; he was first over the line in both races, one coming from last and one sitting outside the leader.
“We learnt that he was a pretty tough conveyance, but what you find with all these horses is that after they have been here for about 12 months they improve.
“What we saw with him is that he just didn’t have the constitution, being his first season in Australia to make it all the way to the Melbourne Cup.
“By the time Cup Day came around he had had enough.”
Team Williams is yet to decide on a 2014 Spring Racing Carnival path with Sea Moon, but it is expected that the Group 1 Melbourne Cup (3200m) at Flemington on November 4 will once again be the major goal for the imported galloper.
Sea Moon is currently available at odds of $26 in the 2014 Melbourne Cup betting market with Ladbrokes Australia.