While dual acceptors Radipole and Tribal Wisdom are set to run in Sydney instead of Melbourne, trainer Mike Moroney still has some genuine chances at the Blamey Stakes meeting at Flemington.
Moroney has early favourite Top Of The Range in Saturday’s The Curragh Racecourse Handicap (1600m) at Flemington after a last-start win at Caulfield over the same distance.
Four-year-old Top Of The Range drew clear late at Caulfield in the benchmark-78 race on February 21 to win by 2-1/2 lengths after being slowly away and settling last in a small field.
“He has trained on very well and I can’t fault him,” Moroney said.
“He’s just got to learn to do it right on race day. He did it all wrong last start and still won.
“He’s potentially a very nice horse.
“We’re just going to try to go through the classes with him but there’s a chance he might end up in Queensland (during the winter).
“He ran fourth in the Queensland Guineas last year and wasn’t that far away.”
Last year’s Bendigo Guineas winner Milwaukee will be tried on the straight course at Flemington for the first time in the New York Racing Association Grand Handicap (1200m).
The four-year-old is trained at Flemington and resumes from a let-up for his first start since finishing fifth in the Magic Millions Cup (1400m) at the Gold Coast in January.
Moroney said Milwaukee still ran well that day after being slow away and settling further back than they had anticipated.
But the trainer is also convinced the gelding is not as good racing right-handed in NSW and Queensland as he is going left-handed in Victoria.
“He hasn’t raced down the straight before, so that will be interesting,” Moroney said.
“He is a burly horse who takes a bit of work so that will be a question mark on Saturday.
“He should improve on the run but he should be thereabouts.”
Des Moines gets the chance to chase black-type in the Group Three TBV Thoroubred Breeders Stakes (1200m) for two-year-old fillies after her third on debut to Nasaayim at Caulfield last month over 1200m.