Wild Rain’s hard-fought win in the McEwen Stakes at Moonee Valley has earned the sprinter a shot at the Group One Moir Stakes.
A virus kept Wild Rain out of a recent Listed race at Moonee Valley with trainer Mark Kavanagh taking a cautious approach and waiting for Saturday’s Group Two over 1000m.
“If you’re going to run in this company you’ve got to have your horse at their absolute top all the time,” Kavanagh said.
Wild Rain has an affinity with Moonee Valley and fought off the challenge from Furnaces to clinch her third win from five starts at the track and her first at Group level.
Stephen Baster kicked up from an inside barrier to hold the lead on Wild Rain ($5.50) and drew clear to beat Furnaces by a length.
After being slowly away, the favourite Heatherly ($2.45) made her run around the field and got within a half head of Furnaces to finish third.
Given Wild Rain’s liking for the course and distance, Kavanagh is planning to bring her back to Moonee Valley for the Moir later this month.
“She’s got a great record here and she’s a specialist at 1000 metres,” he said.
The world’s top-ranked sprinter Chautauqua is expected to contest the Moir.
Wild Rain hadn’t raced for seven weeks since winning the Listed Sir John Monash Stakes.
Baster said even with Heatherly missing the start, he still went at a nice clip on Wild Rain and feared Furnaces was going to get the better of them early in the straight.
“But to her credit she kicked again and was strong to the line,” Baster said.
Heatherly is also expected to press on to the Moir Stakes.
Kavanagh will be back at the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal next week as his appeal against a cobalt conviction continues.