When Viking Hero started his Brisbane Winter Carnival campaign a couple of months ago he looked a good thing to claim a couple as he progressed.
Unfortunately things haven’t panned out the way trainer Michael Moroney would have liked and he’s going to try something a bit different this weekend on the Sunshine Coast in the Caloundra Cup.
Viking Hero will have his blinkers removed in the hope he might get a bit more excited and put in some extra effort.
Moroney says that he’s starting to lose his confidence in the horse after he travelled so well in the Tattersall’s Cup last start but offered nothing down the straight.
“Viking Hero got a gorgeous run in the Tatt’s Cup but overall was slightly disappointing,” Moroney said.
“He got beaten a fair margin and I was disappointed he couldn’t run past Little Stranger who he stalked throughout the race.
“I’m going to remove the blinkers on him this time hoping it’ll improve his attitude but I’d say he’ll be going for a spell no matter where he runs.”
Viking Hero will have the ride of Chris Munce this Saturday but he’s now Moroney’s only chance in the event, 2010 Caloundra Cup runner up Tinseltown will also be on show.
The trainer rates the seven-year-old as his best hope and the form lines suggest he’ll be close to the money again this year.
In 2010 he came into the Caloundra Cup after running sixth in the Group 3 Premier’s Cup and ninth in the Group 2 Brisbane Cup.
This year things have been a bit better coming home second in the Premier’s Cup and then running home sixth in the Brisbane Cup.
“He’s in similar form to last year when I thought he was unlucky not to win the Caloundra Cup,” Moroney said.
“Damien Oliver rode him last year but he was caught wide on him throughout.”
One thing he isn’t happy about is the weight for Saturday’s feature with Tinseltown given 57kgs, that’s a one kilogram increase from what he carried last year.
While he may have run second on that occasion since then things have been anything but smooth and he’s had only a single win across in New Zealand.
“It’s a disappointing weight really,” Moroney said.
“He’s won only one race in 12 months and that was at Pukekohe.”
In addition to that the horse had an enforced layoff earlier in the Autumn after falling in the Sydney Cup and bringing down Hawk Island in the process.
“He copped a bit of bruising from the fall but other than that he came out of it okay,” he said.
“I’m happy with his form up here. He hit the line well when second in the Premier’s Cup and he got into a skirmish and was caught three wide in the Brisbane Cup.
“He’s the best of my two chances and at this stage he’ll back up in the Queensland Cup next week.”