Mike Moroney believes front-running mare Octavia, who has never raced beyond 1200 metres in her career, will be strong enough to handle the extra distance in the Let’s Elope Stakes.
And if the trainer is right, Octavia can set herself up for a start in the Group One Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes – a race he won in 2002 with Pernod – on the back of a solid showing at Caulfield on Saturday.
“She’s given every indication that she’s a pretty relaxed filly,” Moroney said.
“If she can get relaxed at any stage then there’s every chance she will run the 1400 metres out all right.”
Moroney says with Octavia drawing barrier 10, jockey Dwayne Dunn may have to go to the front instead of risking being trapped deep in the race.
“If there’s no other leader in the race, and from (barrier) 10 she’s going to be parked wide, we probably will go forward and lead,” he said.
As for the extra 200m, Moroney says you never know until you try.
Octavia, who has won five of her 11 starts, loves Caulfield and looked a winner all the way in her last outing there where she led to claim the Cockram Stakes on August 17.
Pernod will have another link on Saturday with Moroney giving one of her sons, Marwood, his first city start after a 4-3/4 length win at his debut at Seymour on a heavy track on August 18.
Moroney can see a lot of similarities between mother and son.
Marwood, with Glen Boss aboard, has drawn the outside gate in the Listed Henry Bucks Best Dressed Stakes.
“He is a smart horse but it is a strong field,” said Moroney.
“Until you put him up against this sort of field, you really don’t know (how good they are).”