Apprentice Patrick Moloney reunites with Black Vanquish in the Listed Blue Sapphire Stakes and is looking for a much-improved showing from the colt.
Moloney won on Black Vanquish at Flemington in April in the colt’s second start then Katelyn Mallyon was aboard when the son of Lonhro won in Listed company at Caulfield in May.
Black Vanquish was considered among the leading chances first-up in the Danehill Stakes when Mark Zahra got the ride because Moloney was suspended, but the three-year-old finished over four lengths from the winner Kinglike when unplaced.
Moloney said Black Vanquish emerged from that race with a mucus issue.
“So he was pretty much clogged up so he sort of choked down,” Moloney said.
“I’ve trialled him since and he’s trialled really well. He’s fresh and well and I’m looking forward to riding him.
“The last two times I’ve missed out through suspension and I finally get back on him.
“He drawn well and should get a nice sit off them, hopefully.
“And hopefully we see the real Black Vanquish.”
Moloney has a good opinion of the Tom Hughes-trained Black Vanquish but believes the colt will also improve on whatever he does in Wednesday’s $350,000 race over 1200m.
“Hopefully he can turn around from his first-up performance and I think he can,” he said.
“But I think he’ll take good benefit because I think he’s still got a lot of improvement in him.
“He’s a nice horse, but he still has to take that next step.”
Kinglike heads the acceptances for the Blue Sapphire in a field of eight which has been reduced to seven with the scratching of Von Maestro.
Godolphin trainer John O’Shea has Haptic and Mogador, Gai Waterhouse has Danehill Stakes runner-up Raphael’s Cat and Dark Steel, while last-start Moonee Valley winner Keen Array is also in the field.
Mogador is the $3 favourite ahead of Kinglike and Keen Array ($3.40).