An Xcellent Derby run is predicted for Monaco Consul
It might be a case of out of sight out of mind for many but Mike Moroney says he wouldn’t change a thing going in the Victoria Derby with Monaco Consul.
Moroney is defying convention with the High Chaparral colt who will contest Saturday’s Classic without having raced since winning the Spring Champion Stakes (2000m) at Randwick a month ago.
Traditionally Derby winners have a more seasoning campaign with every one of them in the past 25 years having raced within a fortnight of the big day.
Moroney said he was following a similar formula to four years ago when Xcellent won the New Zealand Derby at only his third start and with 29 days between runs.
"Xcellent hadn’t run for more than four weeks and that’s the way we tend to approach it with the three-year-olds at pre-Christmas every year.
"They are only young stayers still pretty immature so we don’t want to overtax them."
Monaco Consul arrived from Sydney the Sunday after the Spring Champion Stakes and Moroney said he progressed well.
"He hasn’t missed an oat," Moroney said.
"He has eaten everything and hasn’t put a foot wrong.
"We have done enough work with him going into the race and he will have another decent gallop again tomorrow (Tuesday)."
Moroney won the the 1997 Victoria Derby with $26 chance Second Coming who backed up a week after finishing third in the AAMI Vase (2040m) at Moonee Valley.
"Second Coming was a real out and out stayer but this horse (Monaco Consul) has a bit more class and brilliance about him at this stage," Moroney said.
"We think he will be competitive back to a mile in the autumn."
Monaco Consul cost only $NZ80,000 as a yearling and is by the same sire as Cox Plate winner So You Think from unraced Star Way mare Argante. Her half brother Military Plume was placed in Perth’s Australian Derby and West Australian Derby.
Monaco Consul, who will be ridden by Corey Brown, is safe in the betting markets and TAB Sportsbet quoted him on Monday at $7. Norman Robinson Stakes winner Shamoline Warrior is $3.20 favourite and luckless Geelong Classic placegetter Rockferry $6.
Trainer Peter Moody will decide after trackwork on Tuesday whether Saturday’s AAMI Vase winner Hanks ($8) backs up in the Derby.
Meanwhile David Hayes is upbeat about Extra Zero ($12) after he raced wide and finished fifth in the Vase.
"If he draws well, I’ll be confident," Hayes said.
He said it was an open Derby with a lot of good up and coming horses but Extra Zero had been trained for it.
"Normally it’s a race in two, this year I think it’s a race in four or five," Hayes said
By Robert Windmill