Perth Cup Mission Critical for Moroney

Classic mission critical for Moroney four-year-old
The Mike Moroney-trained Mission Critical is set to put a luckless spring behind him in Saturday’s Group One Kingston Town Classic at Ascot.

Steven Arnold will ride the talented four-year-old in the 1800-metre weight-for-age feature while Nick Ryan will partner stablemate Railings.

Both horses are top-of-the-ground runners and arrived safely in Perth on Tuesday when 16 runners were declared for the Kingston Town.

TAB Sportsbet has quoted Mission Critical at $26 and Railings at $51 while Railway Stakes winner Gilded Venom and Niconero are the joint $5 favourites.

The Perth Cup is the main target for Railings while Mission Critical is trying to salvage a campaign that has been restricted to just three starts.

He was to have had his fourth run in the Eclipse Stakes (2100m) at Sandown on November 22 but was scratched because of the rain-affected ground.

Earlier this campaign Mission Critical cut his leg in a mishap on a walking machine and a bad reaction to antibiotics landed him at the Werribee Veterinary Clinic where he was put on a drip and treated for dehydration and diarrhoea for nearly a week.

Moroney’s racing manager Anthony Feroce said nothing had gone right for the horse but he had trained on well since his last-start third to Annenkov and The Fuzz in the Listed Emirates Airline Handicap (1800m) at Flemington on Melbourne Cup day.

“It was a very good run but his fitness gave way the last bit,” Feroce said.

“He’s ready for the 1800 metres now. It is ideal.”

Class won’t be an issue for Mission Critical who has won four of his 15 starts and was rated among New Zealand’s top three-year-olds last season.

He was entered for all the big spring races after he won at weight-for-age in the Group One Whakanui International (2000m) in February, ran second to multiple Group One winner Alamosa in the Group Three Wellington Stakes (1600m) and beat Moatize in the Group Three Rough Habit Plate (2200m) at Doomben.

Moroney has the Australian Cup in his sights with Mission Critical and may give him one more run after Saturday in the Group Two CB Cox Stakes (2100m) at Ascot on December 17 before giving him a rest before the autumn.

Railings hasn’t won since the 2005 Caulfield Cup and last start didn’t handle the soft ground when 10th in the Ballarat Cup.

Feroce said Railings would run in the Kingston Town, the Cox Stakes and the Group Two Perth Cup (2400 metres) on January 1.

“The Kingston Town is more of a lead-up run for Railings,” Feroce said.

“It is weight-for-age and he will run well but look for him at 2100 metres in the Cox Stakes and in the Perth Cup.”

Barriers for the Kingston Town Classic will be drawn on Wednesday.

By Robert Windmill