Rain the key to Moroney’s Randwick hopes

Trainer Mike Moroney believes a soft track can only help Tofane in a tough TJ Smith Stakes.

No-one is happier to hear there is a soft track at Randwick ahead of the opening day of The Championships than Mike Moroney.

Melbourne-based Moroney has two horses entered in Group One races on Saturday, Tofane in the TJ Smith and Rainbow Thief, an emergency, in the Doncaster Mile.

Both enjoy wet tracks and Moroney is looking forward to, hopefully, seeing both run on Saturday.

Tofane is coming off a third-placed finish in The Galaxy at Rosehill on March 21 after finishing seventh in the Newmarket Handicap (1200m) at Flemington on March 7.

“She was pretty luckless in the Newmarket and we expected her to run well in The Galaxy and she got beaten two short half-heads,” Moroney said.

“This is obviously a lot harder task for her at weight-for-age as she’s up against the likes of Nature Strip, Santa Ana Lane, Redzel and the like.

“But she’s a pretty good mare. I’m thinking she’ll run well and if they do get a lot of rain and it turns into a tough 1200 metres, that will suit her.”

Rainbow Thief is fourth emergency in the Doncaster and appears unlikely to gain a start which Moroney says is disappointing after a fourth-placed finish in last week’s Doncaster Prelude at Rosehill.

“He likes it wet and is very lightly weighted,” Moroney said.

Moroney cannot be in Sydney on Saturday with the ban on interstate horse handlers entering stables in NSW because of COVID-19 protocols.

But Moroney has his own staff who were already in Sydney before the restrictions were put in place.

Moroney is isolating himself from his Melbourne staff, attending trackwork daily but going to the stables on a “need to” basis.

He said he was having his meetings with racing manager Anthony Feroce by phone.

“The key to keeping this business altogether is me,” Moroney said.

“We try and send as few staff as possible to the races, however we’ve got to make sure they are not short staffed, but we’re not sending as many as we were.

“But everyone’s doing their part.

“We all know we’re going to take a bit of a hiding prize money wise, but we’d still rather keep racing because the more we keep racing the closer we are to getting back to normality and back to the carnivals.”

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