By Ray Hickson
The spring is all about ambition and trainer Gary Moore is hoping he can leave Canterbury on Wednesday with an eye on better races for three-year-old Petronius.
Moore’s opinion of the colt is high enough for him to throw in a nomination for the Group 1 $1m Golden Rose next month so there’s a bit riding on him dispensing with his maiden status in the Headwater @ Vinery Handicap (1200m).
Petronius was a beaten favourite on debut back in June but Moore said there were excuses for that defeat and he’s shown with a Rosehill trial win two weeks ago he’s appreciated a break.
“I think we went a bit too hard in that race, he got to the lead at the top of the straight at Hawkesbury and ran about under pressure,’’ Moore said.
“He was just a bit new so I gave him plenty of time. If you look at the family a few of his brothers and sisters have had issues so we’ve given him time.
"He did float a little in his first start, I don’t think that will come into play this time around. In his work he’s a very serious colt.’’
Petronius wins a trial at Rosehill on August 6
Sydney’s reigning premier jockey James McDonald has the reins on Petronius at Canterbury after guiding the colt to his latest trial win.
Moore said he’ll leave tactics to McDonald from barrier four in the six horse field but would be surprised if he’s not in the first few in the run.
“It looks a nice race for him, he’s very fit and he worked brilliantly on Saturday morning over 1000m so he’s set to win,’’ Moore said.
“His recent trial was impressive and James spoke highly of the colt. If he’s good enough he’ll be able to go right through the spring.
“I’m expecting him to win the race and I’m hoping he wins it with authority.’’
Moore has another current maiden galloper nominated for the Golden Rose, a filly called Classic Gown who will attempt to get on the board at Hawkesbury on Thursday.
He said the filly has improved sharply into her second preparation and said her first-up fourth over an unsuitable 1000m was a handy effort and warns she should be respected.
“You can’t take into account her first two runs, she’s furnished into a nice filly,’’ he said.
“I think she is going to make a nice three-year-old but we have to get that maiden out of the way.’’