Queensland plans have been put on the backburner for the Mike Moroney-trained War Legend who will instead run on his home track at Flemington.
War Legend finished sixth in the Group Three Easter Cup (2000m) last start at Caulfield after which connections decided to keep him home in Victoria, at least for the time being.
“We were planning on getting him up to Queensland but just on his last run we decided to stay here with an idea of going to this 1800-metre race on Saturday and then we can either go to Adelaide back to a mile or stay at this sort of distance in Victoria,” Moroney said.
“I think he just wants a bit of give in the ground and he wants a big track.
“Caulfield was just too tight for him, mainly. It wasn’t the distance (of the Easter Cup), it was just the tightness of the track. And we just want to get a bit of give in the ground shortly.”
Apprentice Jake Bayliss will ride War Legend in Saturday’s Chairman’s Club Handicap (1800m) and Moroney says the four-year-old has done well since the Easter Cup on April 15.
“He’s had a bit of time between runs now which is good and had a chance to freshen back up again,” Moroney said.
“So everything is good with him.”
Moroney’s attention will be spread between three states with Top Of The Range running over 1800m at Rosehill where he will be on trial for a trip to Brisbane for three-year-old staying features including the Queensland Derby.
Moroney has freshened Vandancer for the Queen Of The South Stakes (1600m) in Adelaide as she chases a valuable Group win for her future as a broodmare, while two-year-old Maria Elisa will chase black-type in the Queen Adelaide Stakes (1050m).
Second emergency Lilymorn needs one more scratching from the Group One Australasian Oaks to make the field.
Lilymorn broke her maiden at her sixth start over 2200m at Ballarat last start.
“If she does make the field she’ll be a very interesting runner,” Moroney said.
“We’ve always thought she’s been our best three-year-old filly but she took a while to clear her maiden. I was quite staggered she took so long to do it.
“She’s a little bit weak mentally and physically but she’s getting there and deeper into her preparation she’s looking and going better.”