Wednesday, 11 April 2012
: Melbourne trainer Michael Moroney believes he is a chance of nailing his first $1.5m Australian Derby with Sabrage on Saturday, but admits luck in running is the key to winning the Randwick feature.
Photo by Racing and Sports
will need plenty of fortune after landing the widest gate at yesterday's barrier draw, but Moroney was hopeful jockey Glyn Schofield could find some cover to help the horse run in the clockwise direction.
“He's a difficult one, he looked so good in the spring and things were going right until his last run and just right-handed he just struggled,” Moroney said.
“[Jockey Damien Oliver] just said he had to drag him around every corner.
“He has got speed so he could go forward if we wanted to but it's just getting cover. Hopefully we can get buried away and help him get around the corners.”
Moroney has enjoyed plenty of three-year-old successes as a trainer, but Australia's richest classic race has always eluded him.
He prepared raging favourite Xcellent
in the 2005 renewal, but the horse bombed out in eighth spot when failing to handle the heavy conditions.
Xcellent won the 2004 New Zealand Derby, a race Moroney has claimed three times in his home country.
Moroney has also secured two Victoria Derbies – in 2009 with Monaco Consul
12 years after saluting with Second Coming
Sabrage ran third in the Victoria Derby over the spring, a race Moroney said his horse could've won under Oliver.
“He lacked a bit of luck in the VRC Derby,” Moroney said.
“If he [Oliver] had his time over again he would've ridden him slightly different in the VRC Derby and it would've been a different result.
“I think he had in the back of his mind he wasn't bred to stay and he rode him accordingly. He missed the bus a little wee bit, the rest took off and he got shuffled right back, and then got a checked run in the straight.”
Sabrage ran 11th two weeks back in the Rosehill Guineas (2000m), well behind the winner Laser Hawk
and Moroney's compatriots Ocean Park
and Silent Achiever
Moroney expected the Rosehill Guineas form to hold up, but said Randwick was a vastly different arena.
“Rosehill's a different track to Randwick so you could see things turn around a wee bit,” Moroney said.
“I know my horse gets the distance which is always a big plus.”