As a rising eight-year-old it would be a monster of a task but Tinseltown has shown he could well and truly handle a crack at the 2011 Melbourne Cup with an excellent win over 3200m in the Queensland Cup.
The New Zealander had never had a victory over two miles despite a number of attempts but that stat was put to rest after he put more than two lengths between himself and the second placed Smoking Chimneys.
While the Group 1 Melbourne Cup field will be a lot stronger than the Listed company he faced in Brisbane the fact is he ran out the distance strongly, putting him in a special category of horses.
He was narrowly beaten in the Caloundra Cup where he finished third and he wasn’t even a certain starter in the Queensland Cup until trainer Mike Moroney was completely happy he was in good shape.
In the end he decided the race just stacked up too well in his favour to let the opportunity slip.
“He did well after the Caloundra Cup and, to be honest, he’s a rising eight-year-old and I’m not sure how many more chances he might have in big races,” Moroney said.
He’s had five runs at the two miles before and never managed to break into the top three.
His last crack at the journey was in the Group 1 Sydney Cup and he didn’t even finish the race after falling at the 800m.
It caps off a great period for Moroney in Brisbane where he’s managed to find a number of good wins.
He credits a lot of Saturday’s win to jockey Chad Ormsby.
“I thought Chad did a very good job,” Moroney said.
“He had to move out a bit wider a fair way from home but he didn’t really go on the horse and just let him gradually work into it.”
Ormsby is making a growing mark on Queensland black type events, specifically races that get out towards 2000m and beyond.
“I had a pretty good feel all the way,” Ormsby said.
“He jumped well as he normally does but then totally relaxed.
“I could see a lot of horses going forward in the middle stages because of the slow tempo but I was pretty happy to watch that happening.
“When I did pull him out wider, he just did things on his own, although I was a bit concerned when he was three wide without cover well before the home turn.
“To his credit, he really finished it off strongly and, in the end, it was a very good win.”
It was Tinseltown’s 50th career start for just his ninth win to go along with a further 10 placings.
He’s fired at the right time though with more than half a million dollars in prize money in the bank.
Further marking his claims for a Cup’s big in the spring is that he never looked like losing the race as they straightened up.
In fact the result was beyond doubt with over a furlong remaining, his rivals just not having the legs in the closing stages.
Raeburn was a fancied runner pre-race but after stalking Tinseltown nearly all the way he didn’t make any in roads off the turn.
Persian Star was the betting favourite but after a cosy run in the back of the pack he struck a bit of traffic and only struggled home in a distant fifth place.