Hang Man plays to script

Gifted import Hang Man continued his progression through Victoria's staying ranks with another dominant display in Wednesday's Ladbrokes Back Yourself Handicap (2400m) at Ladbrokes Park.

The one-and-a-half length win over Ancient King and Midas Man was the four-year-old's third in five Australian starts and prompted connections, including managing owner Rupert Legh, to talk up his chances as a genuine Stakes contender.

Trainer Mike Moroney praised the ride of jockey Patrick Moloney and said the son of Windsor Knot would race on through the winter - he identified a BM90 2500-metre handicap at Flemington on July 21 as the gelding's ultimate aim this preparation - before being set for the Mornington Cup (2400m) next March.

As well as an attractive $300,000 purse, the Mornington Cup offers Caulfield Cup ballot exemption to the winner, secured this season by current pre-post Caulfield Cup favourite Kings Will Dream.

"We came to the crossroads after his last run about whether to go towards the spring and give him a quick break or box on," Moroney said.

"We decided to box on, get him through the classes and aim at the autumn.

"The horse is very professional for a lightly raced horse and his racing brain is very good.

"My experience is that they usually are better (in their second Australian campaign)."

Moroney and Legh are also owners of exciting filly Dancing Brave Bear, who was purchased in the US and is based at Newmarket with trainer Ed Vaughan, who will step out at Royal Ascot in the Group 2 Ribblesdale Stakes (2400m) next Thursday.