Mike Moroney says import Glass Harmonium is the best-performed of his eight Melbourne Cup entries and is looking for a good first-up showing from the grey in Saturday’s Makybe Diva Stakes.
The Verglas six-year-old entire hasn’t been out of a place in four Group race starts in Australia including a win in the Group Two Eagle Farm Cup (2200m) two starts back in June.
Moroney said he was surprised with how well Glass Harmonium performed in Queensland during the winter after the arduous travelling he had to endure to get here.
After being purchased by clients of the Moroney stable, the horse resumed for English trainer Sir Michael Stoute when running sixth to Twice Over after missing the start badly in the Group One Champion Stakes (2012m) at Newmarket last October.
Stoute then started him in the Hong Kong Cup (2000m) at Sha Tin in which he finished 12th to Snow Fairy.
From there he was supposed to be flown on to Australia.
“However he hadn’t had all of his shots and he had to be flown back to England to do his quarantine during one of their worst winters which really put us on the back foot,” Moroney said.
“He came out of quarantine in Sydney in the middle of February and we took him up to Queensland and I thought he did a great job considering all the travelling he’d done.
“He’s more settled in now and we’ve got more of a handle on him. He runs in the Makybe Diva on Saturday and I’m really happy with the way the horse is going.
“He’s one of a bunch of a few stayers that are in the race but he’s a bit sharper than the other ones so I expect him to run well.”
Caulfield and Melbourne Cups favourite Lights Of Heaven will attempt to become only the third mare to win the Makybe Diva Stakes in the past 20 years when she runs in the Group Two feature at Flemington.
Saleous (1996) was the last mare to win the race while 1992 Caulfield Cup winner Mannerism was successful in 1993 in the 1600m weight-for-age event which was known as the Craiglee Stakes up to 2006.
Lights Of Heaven was having her first start since her fourth successive win in the Australasian Oaks (2000m) at Morphettville in March when runner-up by a long neck to Cox Plate favourite Whobegotyou in the Lawrence Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield on August 13.
The Zabeel four-year-old is expected to be hard to beat on Saturday after being held up for a run rounding the home turn in the Lawrence.
She is $1.65 favourite with TAB Sportsbet ahead of Glass Harmonium at $6, Maluckyday at $7.50 and Playing God at $8 with Once Were Wild and Prince Obama at $17.
Moroney will also saddle up lightly-raced import Don Carlos ($51), a Galileo five-year gelding who has won twice from seven starts, at 1400m and 2000m.
Lisa Cropp will ride Glass Harmonium with Kerrin McEvoy engaged for Don Carlos.