A fine day that is expected to produce a good track has boosted trainer Mike Moroney’s hopes that Hang Man can return to winning form.
The trainer was disappointed with Hang Man’s performance at Caulfield last start when fourth over 1600m after looming as the winner.
However, Moroney sees a rise to 2000m in Saturday’s Neds Toolbox Handicap at Caulfield as ideal, along with firmer footing.
Moroney said the only thing the stable could blame for Hang Man’s last-start defeat, when a heavily supported $2.50 favourite, was a heavy track.
“If you look at his form his win on a heavy track was in a maiden at Terang when he was too good for them and other than that his form has been on better ground, so we’re hoping that is all it was,” Moroney said.
“He got the right run, travelled up nicely with the blinkers on, didn’t over-race, put himself in the race, looked the winner, but was disappointing late.”
Moroney said there was no question about the gelding’s fitness in his latest appearance and had no hesitation leaving the blinkers on the gelding for the rise in distance on Saturday.
He said the blinkers did two things for Hang Man when he raced in the head gear for the first time three weeks ago.
“He was very relaxed on the day which was a good sign as he walked around the parade ring without a care in the world and went down to the start that way as well,” Moroney said.
“And he also bounced away from the gates, so for that reason we’ve left them on, but if we go up any further in distance then we may take them off.”
Stablemate Gundown has gained a start following the scratching of the Chris Waller pair of Kaonic and Gayatri.
After pleasing Moroney in his first two runs back after a spell over unsuitable distances, Gundown disappointed the trainer at Sandown over 2100m on heavy ground on May 2.
“The only thing I can put that down to is I backed him up week-to-week,” Moroney said.
“He raced flat after going two good races as we stepped him towards his right trip.
“We can’t fault him, he’s worked well and seems well.”