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Vengeur Masque held off his rivals in the Geelong Cup

Trainer Mike Moroney is banking on a penalty and attrition for imported stayer Vengeur Masque to get a start in the Melbourne Cup.

As the winner of Wednesday’s Geelong Cup, Vengeur Masque is eligible for a re-handicap after his narrow victory in the 2400m handicap.

The six-year-old currently sits 45th in the Melbourne Cup order of entry.

Ridden by Patrick Moloney, Vengeur Masque ($15) scored a half-head win over the $3 favourite Gallic Chieftain with Violate ($17) three-quarters of a length away third.

Should Vengeur Masque find his way into the Melbourne Cup field he will attempt to become the fourth son of the late stallion Monsun in five years to win following Fiorente (2013), Protectionist (2014) and Almandin last year.

Moroney said Vengeur Masque, who made his Australian debut in August last year, was finally strengthening.

“We’ve had a lot of faith in this horse but he’s been a slow maturing horse and he’s only just come of age,” Moroney said.

“He’s on his way to this year’s Melbourne Cup and next year’s as well but he’s just been very slow in strengthening.”

Moroney said the gelding reminded him of Brew who he trained to win the 2000 Melbourne Cup.

“When they get stronger they can keep up a good gallop and he’s starting to get there,” Moroney said.

If Vengeur Masque doesn’t look like making the Cup field Moroney said he would entertain a start in the Lexus Stakes on November 4, three days before the Cup with the winner guaranteed a start.

It’s a method he used to success with Brew.

“It’s not something I would have done last year but as he’s stronger this year and it’s something worth considering,” Moroney said.

Vengeur Masque wore ear muffs for the first time on Wednesday which had winning jockey Patrick Moloney sceptical pre-race.

“We haven’t had a lot of luck with ear muffs on horses of late but today it worked perfectly on the perfect horse,” Moloney said.

“He relaxed beautifully outside a nice tempo.

“Straightening he got there too soon but he was going fantastic and fought hard to the line.”

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