Victorian horseman Michael Moroney is far from excited about the close-to-the-rails barrier draw for his Sunshine Coast Guineas hopeful Tivaci in Queensland this weekend.
The field for Saturday’s $125,000 Group 3 XXXX Sunshine Coast Guineas (1600m) is down to 14 starters after the early scratching of Bold Avenue (11) and Moroney’s acceptor Tivaci is due to jump from gate two.
Queensland hoop Damian Browne continues his association with the Group 3 winning High Chaparral colt, but the Flemington-based Moroney is unconvinced the alley is right for his Melbourne raider.
“It’s probably not the ideal gate for him,” Moroney told Racing Victoria.
“He keeps drawing well here [in Queensland], which most people would like, but a horse like him is better with a bit of room.”
Saturday will be the third run in the Sunshine State for Tivaci this Queensland Winter Racing Carnival following two unplaced efforts in Brisbane and Moroney is happy with his horse’s condition.
“His condition looks very bright. He’s had a long enough campaign this time around, but he seems to have handled it well,” he said.
Two back Tivaci finished a solid fourth as a 21/1 outsider in Doomben’s Group 3 Fred Best Classic (1350m) behind Chris Waller’s Group 1 placed Counterattack.
He then backed-up at Eagle Farm on Stradbroke Day, June 11, for a luckless run when badly hampered at a crucial stage in the Group 2 Queensland Guineas (1600m) eventually crossing two lengths off Tsaritsa for sixth.
From 11 career runs to date Tivaci has enjoyed three wins and two seconds.
He is yet to win over further than 1400m and hasn’t run in the money from his three mile assignments to date.
Despite the doubts of his trainers and some of these dismal facts, the bookies are taking no chances on Tivaci in Sunshine Coast Guineas betting.
He is the current $3.60 second favourite at Ladbrokes.com.au behind the firming top fancy Sold For Song.
Kevin Kemp’s Toowoomba-trained Collate filly is draw out in barrier 11, which could turn out to be an advantageous gate in the Caloundra Cup Day feature.
After a close third in the Queensland Guineas, Sold For Song backed-up last Saturday and charged home for a well-deserved stakes win in the Listed Daybreak Lover (1400m).
She is fit and in-form then as she prepares to step back up to the 1600m on Saturday chasing successive Black-Type wins to see out her winter prep.
In a bid to help Tivaci make the most of his draw, Moroney said instructions to Browne would be to ride him forward after he and the horse got caught on the wrong part of the track in the Queensland Guineas.
“As long as he hops away, he won’t be too far off them and then we’ll just try and get to the right part of the track,” he said.
“He was [stuck in the wrong part of the track last start].
“Damian [Browne] come back and said he thought he’d be in the first three – he was pretty apologetic about it.
“The horse got back where he didn’t want to be.”
Barrier woes aside, Moroney is backing the class of his galloper and just hopes things go right for him in the run on Saturday.
“I think he’s the best horse in the race. It’s a matter of him getting the right luck,” he said.
The other best fancied three-year-olds in the Sunshine Guineas odds at Ladbrokes Australia this weekend include High Spirit ($6.50) and Mr Individual ($10) drawn in barriers three and one respectively.