Owner Lloyd Williams has been delighted with the 2014 Queen Elizabeth Stakes lead-up form of Green Moon and rates the imported stayer a genuine winning chance in the Group 1 event at Royal Randwick this weekend.
Green Moon has not recorded a race win since he took out the 2012 Melbourne Cup (3200m), but has performed well in two starts this preparation; finishing fourth in the Group 2 Peter Young Stakes (1800m) at Caulfield on February 22 and a close second to Fiorente in the Group 1 Australian Cup (2000m) at Flemington on March 8.
Williams told TVN that he has been thrilled with the form that Green Moon has shown during his autumn preparation and believes that the son of Montjeu took plenty of benefit out of his run in the Australian Cup.
“I could not be happier with him,” Williams said.
“Green Moon just needed the run in the Australian Cup; he will run well.”
Williams scratched Green Moon from the Group 1 The BMW (2400m) at Rosehill Gardens on April 5 because he did not want to run the Melbourne Cup winner on a heavy track, but he confirmed that the seven-year-old will take his place in the 2014 Queen Elizabeth Stakes field, despite the Royal Randwick currently being rated a Heavy 9.
Green Moon raced fairly on a slow track in the Group 1 Underwood Stakes (1800m) at Caulfield on September 21, when the race was not run to suit, and Williams believes that the entire will get through the ground ok this weekend.
“I think he’ll handle it alright,” Williams said.
“Mourayan is hopeless on it and that’s why he’s not in the Sydney Cup.
“He and Tanby will run in the Easter Cup.”
The key Queen Elizabeth Stakes form races are generally the Group 1 Ranvet Stakes (2000m) and Group 1 The BMW (2400m), but this year almost half the field will be backing up from the Group 1 Doncaster Mile (1600m) at Royal Randwick last weekend.
Williams is confident that the form coming out of The BMW is stronger than that coming out of the Doncaster and rates in-form mare Silent Achiever and five-time Group 1 winner It’s A Dundeel as the major dangers to Green Moon in the $4 million race.
“I think the winner will come from It’s A Dundeel, Silent Achiever and Green Moon,” Williams said.
“They have the best form in the very best races and the weight-for-age form is a better guide than the handicaps.”
Green Moon is currently available at the lucrative 2014 Australian Cup odds of $26; with Carlton House ($3.50) remaining favourite from Silent Achiever ($4.60) and It’s A Dundeel ($4.80).