Military Mission stamps strong Melbourne Cup claim

Joao Moreira returns to the mounting yard aboard Military Mission after winning the Herbert Power Stakes at Caulfield Racecourse. (Photo by George Sal/Racing Photos)

Gai Waterhouse & Adrian Bott appear to have another Cups contender, after their five-year-old gelding Military Mission (+700) claimed the Group 2 Herbert Power Stakes at Caulfield.

After claiming the Group 3 Newcastle Gold Cup two starts back and running a huge race in the Group 1 The Metropolitan last start, the son of Mastercraftsman is hitting form at the right time of the spring and with his win in the Herbert Power, he will have to be considered a big chance in the Melbourne Cup, if he can get into the race.

Joao Moreira allowed his mount to settle near the rear of the field and get into a rhythm for most of trip before asking for an effort at the 500m mark, and when the winner gave his effort, he quickly started to gobble up the slowing leaders.

With the race favourite Carini (+140) on the fence with nowhere to go, Moreira hit the go button and continued his wide run before taking the front at the 200m mark and record a strong victory.

United Nations (+550) and Ferago (+6000) battled it out for the placings, but they weren’t strong enough to go with the winner over the final 200m.

2023 Herbert Power Stakes Replay – Military Mission | T: Gai Waterhouse & Adrian Bott |J: Joao Moreira

Gai Waterhouse confirmed that Military Mission would be going to the Melbourne Cup when speaking to the media post-race.

“Absolutely,” Waterhouse replied when asked if the Melbourne Cup would be next.

“They’re nice to have. We’ve got one, it’d be lovely to have a second.

“Joao, isn’t he music to your ears?

“It was a bit of muddling run race but he just didn’t panic and just let the horse get into his rhythm.

“He ran fourth to Just Fine the other day and was an absolute moral not to run second. He was back second-last.

“I love the way he works himself into the race – both the jockey and the horse – and the way he was coming and coming at the end.”

Joao Moreira has brought his first winner on Caulfield Guineas Day, with his big ride on Militarize in the Guineas still to come later.

“What (a) nice horse,” Moreira said.

“He broke alright. He never really fought me during the race.

“He was always calm for me.

“Once they started putting up the pace from the 800-metres onwards, I had to niggle him to make him stay in touch.

“To the turn, he came a bit wide, shied away from the other horses, and struggled a little bit on the left turns, but into the straight, he was always going to win.”

Military Mission is a +5000 chance in the Melbourne Cup futures market with online bookmakers.

More horse racing news

Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments