Mike Moroney considers this season’s Group One Victoria Derby as one that got away with promising three-year-old Chapada.
But the trainer is hoping the gelding can make up for what he describes as “a pretty luckless spring” with a big autumn campaign which begins at Flemington on Saturday in the Group Three C S Hayes Stakes (1400m).
Lightly raced Chapada had to settle for third behind Extra Brut and Stars Of Carrum in the $2 million Victoria Derby (2500m) at Flemington last November in his most recent start after being held up for the first half of the straight before charging home along the rail.
“The one that really shows it is the overhead shot,” Moroney said.
“He really lost eight lengths on those horses. They were three lengths behind him and put five lengths on him and he ran them back to three lengths when he got out. It was pretty hard to watch.
“If he just had clear running from the top of the straight like the rest did he would have made it very interesting anyway.”
Chapada’s lone win from five starts has been a Wangaratta maiden but he was also placed in the Caulfield Classic (2000m).
Moroney, who operates stables in Melbourne and his native New Zealand, claimed his 50th Group One win when On The Rocks won the Herbie Dyke Stakes in New Zealand last weekend.
The trainer hopes Chapada can add to the tally later this autumn.
Moroney says Chapada is in the right order for his first-up run but is likely to be spotting at least some of his rivals a start after drawing the second outside barrier.
“He will need the speed to be on because he will have to go back from that draw,” Moroney said.
“But he’ll be running on. He’s forward enough to run a nice 1400 metres.”