Trainer Mike Moroney has taken on board a recommendation from jockey Damien Oliver in deciding to run import Mr Marathon Man in the weight-for-age PB Lawrence Stakes at Caulfield.
Mr Marathon Man has had a freshen up since he failed in the Listed Winter Championship Series Final (1600m) at Flemington under top weight of 60kg on July 6 and drops back in distance to 1400m in Saturday’s Group Two weight-for-age PB Lawrence Stakes.
“I wanted to freshen him up and I was going to go straight into the 1700-metre race (Heatherlie Stakes) in a couple of weeks time but I had a bit of a chat with Ollie and he was pretty keen to see him run at 1400 and thought this might be the right race,” Moroney said.
“We decided to give him a jump-out and if we were happy with him we would soldier on to it.”
Mr Marathon Man confirmed those plans with a pleasing jump-out at Flemington last Friday.
“Ollie came out and rode him in the jump-out and gave him the thumbs up,” Moroney said.
“He’s going to ride him on Saturday.”
Connections also nominated Mr Marathon Man for a 1600m handicap on Saturday but Moroney said that was only in case there were larger entries for the Lawrence and the gelding missed a start.
The Lawrence Stakes field is expected to include Cox Plate favourite Mystic Journey, grand campaigner Hartnell and dual Group One winner Kenedna and Moroney is interested to see how Mr Marathon Man measures up.
Mr Marathon Man, who has been nominated for the 2019 Cox Plate, was a Listed winner and Group Three placegetter in France and has won one of his four Australian starts.
He won a 1600m handicap on soft ground at Sandown in June then Moroney said Oliver felt he raced flat at his next start in the Winter Championship Series Final.
“We’re only just learning about him but he has got some real ability,” Moroney said.
“We’ve just got to see where he does measure up. This is going to be an interesting run for him.”