Tough stayer Araldo Junior has overcome a horror road trip and a drying track to give trainer Michael Moroney his third win in the Listed Queensland Cup (3200m) on the Sunshine Coast.
Araldo Junior ($10) gave jockey Michael Cahill his fourth stakes win and his second Cup of the winter when he beat favourite My Diamantine ($2.90) by 2-3/4 lengths on Saturday.
Pop ‘N’ Scotch ($14), which ran second in the three previous Cups, was 1-3/4 lengths further back in third.
Araldo Junior did his early racing in Germany and was brought to Australia after his half-brother Araldo was put down following the 2014 Melbourne Cup.
Araldo had suffered an injury while returning to scale after a seventh-place finish.
Moroney won the Queensland Cup with Tinsel Town (2011) and Mister Impatience (2015), and thought Araldo Junior was a perfect horse for the race.
Stable representative Nerissa Copp said Araldo Junior had a horror trip to Queensland, taking 17 hours because of a road accident.
“We left Sydney on Wednesday afternoon and didn’t get to the stables at Caloundra until 17 hours later. We got held up for hours at a road accident at Palm Beach on the Gold Coast,” Copp said.
“Luckily, he’s an easygoing horse because we had to stop and turn the engine off and we couldn’t even get off the road.”
“We were also chasing a soft track and it was no help when the track was upgraded to a good surface before the race.”
Copp said Araldo Junior would return to Sydney, where Moroney would map out a staying campaign for him.
Earlier, Tegan Harrison moved to within two wins of 500 career victories when former Hong Kong horse Aomen won his first race in nearly three years.
Aomen’s last win was in October 2014 but showed he was back near his best when he came third in the Carlton Quality at Grafton last week.
Despite that run he was sent out a $41 but after being given the run of the race by Harrison he scored by two lengths in the benchmark 90 (1400m).
Jockey Bridget Grylls was repaid for her efforts riding track work when Monteux ($15) returned to the winner’s circle after a long break when he won the 1600m handicap.
Monteux, which is raced by Waratah Thoroughbreds, was sent to Eagle Farm trainer John Meagher after being beaten at Swan Hill in June.