Vatuvei wins Moonee Valley Cup

Vatuvei has further shown his promise as a stayer by taking out the $250,000 Group 2 Drake International Moonee Valley Cup on Saturday.


Vatuvei and Luke Nolan, picture


A long way down the Order Of Entry for the Group 1 Melbourne Cup on November 6 currently with 50kg, Vatuvei will not gain a start in the 3200m staying test.

While such a reality could be viewed negatively by those involved with the promising four-year-old stayer, winning rider Luke Nolen sees it otherwise.

“It may well be a blessing,” Nolen said.

“It would be great to see another season under his belt before he takes on better stayers.

“He switched off good behind a good solid tempo and he was very convincing on the line.

“He is a stayer of nice quality and I think in 12 months time he will be even better.”

The Peter Moody-trained stayer was the beneficiary of a strong tempo set by Rialya and after getting the desired split upon straightening kicked clear for a 1.5 length win over Reuben Percival with Ironside 2 lengths away in third.

“I just had to wait,” Nolen said.

“He was always going to show a turn of foot because he was so relaxed in the run.

“It was a good staying effort and he’s well trained.”

The event contained a number of Melbourne Cup hopefuls on the cusp of a start in the lucrative two mile race.

Reuben Percival and Ironstein, who is 33rd in the Order Of Entry, are hoping to get Cup starts.

Precedence (4th) and Unusual Suspect (5th) who sit 26th and 27th respectively in the ballot order ran their best races so far this spring.

The disappointments were OTI raced Ibicenco and Lloyd Williams owned Midas Touch who started as favourite.

Midas Touch is 11th in the Melbourne Cup Order Of Entry and was expected to show improvement in his first run over more than 2000m since arriving in Australia.

The Galileo entire got caught wide for the first half of the race and was arguably entitled to weaken over the final two furlongs.

Vatuvei is by Reset out of Boisterous Lady and is owned by  Sitralos Racing Synd, C Sharpe, A Coates, J Phyland, Horsing Around Synd, P Clarke, The Bredhim Synd, H Overall, S Bilalis & Cavalluccio Synd.