Distance test for Muirfield
By Mathew Toogood
SYDNEY, April 13 AAP – Mike Moroney is keen to test the staying capabilities of Muirfield in the Group Two Chairman’s Quality with a view to a possible Sydney Cup tilt.
Moroney has had his doubts about the son of Don Eduardo’s ability to stay but believes the four-year-old is now racing more like a stayer and deserves his chance over the 2600m journey at Randwick on Saturday.
Muirfield is stepping up in distance after finishing second to Extra Zero in the Albury Cup (2000m) last start.
“This is the first time he’s going to be tried at this distance. He’s only ever gone over as far as 2000 metres so that’s going to be a bit of a question mark but we’ll just see where he is at,” Moroney said.
“We can stay here and run him in the Sydney Cup if it looks like he’s going to get 3200 metres or we can change tack and head home (to Melbourne) and maybe go for something like the Warrnambool Cup or give him a break and get ready for the spring.
“He’s on trial on Saturday to see if we go to the Sydney Cup.”
Muirfield has won three of his 12 starts including two of four this preparation.
His recent wins have come over 1600m at Sale and 1800m on the Hillside track at Sandown.
Moroney had planned to test Muirfield over more ground last year but injury cruelled those plans.
“Last year I was worried about whether he would stay or not but he seems to be racing more like a stayer now,” the trainer said.
“We were going to test him in the Queensland Derby last year. He went up there to Brisbane after running third in the Frank Packer Plate in Sydney but he knocked his leg and we were forced to miss the Derby.
“He missed the spring as well because of that. We’re going to give him his chance now.”
Kerrin McEvoy, who won the Melbourne Cup in 2000 for Moroney on Brew, has the ride in the Chairman’s.
Last-start Manion Cup winner Permit is the Chairman’s Handicap favourite at $3 with Muirfield on the fifth line of betting with TAB Sportsbet at $12.Headline: RACE:Distance test for Muirfield
13 Apr 7:07 PM