Moudre battling for Caulfield Cup berth

Country-trained stayer Moudre will contest the Group Two Herbert Power Stakes in a last ditch attempt to win a place in the Caulfield Cup.

Trainer Ciaron Maher has also nominated Moudre for Saturday’s Group One Yalumba Stakes (2000m) but feels the field will be too strong.

The winners of the Herbert Power and the Yalumba are exempt from the Cup ballot.

On Monday only 11 horses were entered for the Yalumba. Reigning Cox Plate winner So You Think, who is storming his way through the spring, Whobegotyou and More Joyous are the headline acts.

The Gai Waterhouse-trained More Joyous has also been entered for the Toorak Handicap (1600m) with a decision to be made by owner John Singleton and his racing manager Duncan Grimley later in the week.

“She’s got to run 2000 metres and she’s better treated in the Yalumba,” Waterhouse said.

“The field she meets there is the field she meets on Cox Plate day.

“But it’s totally up to John and Duncan whatever they want to run in.”

Alcopop, Linton, Red Ruler, Precedence and Empire’s Choice are among other nominations.

Linton, Red Ruler and Precedence are also entered for the Herbert Power Stakes (2400m) and, like Moudre, need a win on Saturday to line up in the Caulfield Cup.

Maher, who trains at Warrnambool, said it would be a tough assignment to qualify but he remains hopeful.

The five-year-old has won six of his 13 starts.

Last Sunday he failed to get a start as an emergency in the Turnbull Stakes at Flemington but he has pleased Maher since his last start third to Rainbow Styling in the Naturalism Stakes (2000m) at Caulfield.

“He has trained up pretty well so he should be right,” Maher said.

“I think he has had a run every three weeks on the way through so it shouldn’t make much difference missing the run on Sunday.

“It would be great to get in to the Caulfield Cup as it has been the plan all along but I would say Bart’s horse (Precedence) would be hard to beat.”

Maher is hoping for better luck in the Herbert Power than the Naturalism.

“It was a leaders’ track and they probably just got away on him a little bit,” Maher said.

“If he can be a little closer, which he probably could be if the track is not racing the same as last time, he should be in with a chance.”

Craig Williams has ridden Moudre through the spring and again takes the reins on Saturday.