Mike Moroney has elected to keep Victoria Derby placegetter Chapada at home in Melbourne for a crack at the Australian Guineas but the trainer is lamenting the gelding’s wide draw in the Group One race.
Moroney also had the option to wait another week for the Randwick Guineas (1600m) for Chapada to gain experience racing in the clockwise direction before the Group One Rosehill Guineas (2000m) and Australian Derby (2400m).
But the Flemington trainer has decided Saturday’s $1 million Australian Guineas is the better option and is not concerned about the gelding then heading to Sydney for the staying features.
“We’ve done a bit of work right handed with him and he looks really good going right handed,” Moroney said.
“So we just believe he didn’t need as much practice and we’re just happy to keep him closer to home for at least one more run.”
Moroney believes Chapada has the class to figure in the Australian Guineas over a mile, however he admits the three-year-old’s chances were dealt a blow when he drew the second outside barrier in the capacity field.
“It is very, very disappointing but you can’t do much about barrier draws,” Moroney said.
Chapada drifted back from the outside draw first-up in the C S Hayes Stakes over 1400m last Saturday week before working home into seventh, beaten three lengths by winner The Inevitable.
Moroney will study Saturday’s race before deciding whether Chapada settles back again or presses further forward from the wide draw.
“He’s got gate speed so we could go either way. It’s just a matter of studying the field a little bit more,” he said.
“I thought his first-up run was good. He kept running to the line and he wasn’t that far away.
“He’s well up to a race like this, without a doubt.
“Once he gets to a mile he’s pretty competitive from that distance up.
“It just would have helped if we had drawn a barrier.”
Chapada has won one of his six starts.
His jockey Damien Oliver is striving to win a record fourth Australian Guineas and second in a row after victory on Grunt 12 months ago.