Lloyd Williams-owned Sea Moon has returned to full-time work under the care of John Oxx in Ireland and he is on track to return to racing in July.
Sea Moon was sent back to Europe after he failed to fire during the 2014 Spring Racing Carnival, but it looked as though his racing career was over after he came down with a nasty bout of shipping fever and was lucky to survive.
Oxx was able to slowly nurse Sea Moon back to full health and the Beat Hollow entire is now back in full-time work, but Oxx told Sky Sports UK that he does not want to rush things with the seven-year-old and he revealed that the Herbert Power Stakes winner was unlikely to contest either the International Stakes or the Curragh Cup on Irish Derby Day.
“He’s had two bouts of shipping fever, the first time when Sir Michael (Stoute) took him to Hong Kong (in 2012) and the second when he came back from Australia in February,” Oxx said.
“It was a pretty bad episode, he was sick for the whole of February and he’s lucky to be alive.
“He’s working away and he’s in fast work now.
“He’s showing plenty of enthusiasm and looks great and it looks as though he still retains plenty of ability, but we won’t really know until we get him back on the racecourse.
“He has a couple of entries on (Irish) Derby weekend, but I think it’s probably a bit optimistic to think he’ll make those.
“Hopefully we’ll have him back on the track in mid-July and we’ll see what he can do.”
There was plenty of hype surrounding Sea Moon ahead of the 2013 Spring Racing Carnival and he was the first horse past the post in both the Listed The Bart Cummings (2520m) at Flemington and the Group 2 Herbert Power Stakes (2400m), but he finished a disappointing 13th in the Group 1 Melbourne Cup (3200m).
Sea Moon returned for another spring campaign a year later, but he was unable to perform at his best and Williams elected to send the entire back to Europe after he beat home just two runners in the Group 2 Zipping Classic (2400m) at Sandown on November 15.
Oxx admits that he does not know what to expect from Sea Moon, but he is hopeful that the stayer can return to the form that he showed when he beat the likes of Dunaden, Red Cadeaux, Jakkalberry and Fiorente in the 2012 edition of the Hardwicke Stakes (2414m).
“I think the owner just felt he wasn’t doing as well as he could out in Australia,” Oxx said.
“Maybe the firmer tracks weren’t for him, possibly he likes a bit of ease in the ground, and maybe he’s more of a European horse.
“He’s certainly a class horse and we’re delighted to have him.”
Sea Moon is currently available at 2015 Melbourne Cup odds of $101 with Ladbrokes Australia.