Surpass is at long odds in the Brisbane Cup but trainer Mike Moroney is not writing off the New Zealand stayer.
“If he puts his best foot forward he’ll be pretty hard to beat,” Moroney said.
“He’s quite a smart horse on his day.
“He’s a dangerous lightweight because he was lumping a lot of weight in those Cup races in New Zealand earlier this year.”
Surpass began his career in New Zealand before venturing to Melbourne in 2013.
He won three races in Australia including a 2000m event at Randwick before heading back across the Tasman to Moroney’s Auckland stable.
He won the Group Three Waikato Cup (2400m) last December and was placed in two other stakes races before finishing worse than midfield in the Auckland Cup (3200m) with 59kg.
Surpass was beaten 10 lengths in the weight-for-age Lord Mayor’s Cup in his first run back in Australia but Moroney said jockey Blake Shinn felt he was only warming up at the end of the 1600m and would benefit from the run.
“His work has been very good, but it is quite a good Brisbane Cup this year,” Moroney said.
Stablemate Merion is at single figure odds in the Group Two Queensland Guineas and Moroney believes the gelding gets his chance to win a Group race having won twice at Listed level.
Merion struck traffic problems when seventh in the Sunshine Coast Guineas won by subsequent Queensland Oaks winner Winx.
“He should be pretty hard to beat I would think because it doesn’t look a strong Guineas,” Moroney said.
“(Jockey) Damian Browne was pretty keen to stick with him.”