While the spotlight might be on more high profile runners seeking a Melbourne Cup berth, trainer Mike Moroney says he has never had Sound in better order.
Sound contests the $500,000 Group 3 Bart Cummings (2510m) at Flemington on Saturday, a race that provides the winner a ballot exemption into the $8 million Group 1 Melbourne Cup (3200m) on November 3.
Moroney finds himself in unchartered waters with Sound trying to qualify for a spot in the Cup.
Sound has run in the past two editions, finishing 18th behind Cross Counter in 2018 and 12th last year to Vow And Declare.
Mike Moroney, picture Quentinjlang.com
“It will be interesting trying to get him into the Cup,” Moroney said.
“In other years he’s made the Cup, but this year he’s going to have to qualify, but he is going as well as I’ve ever had him go.
“He won’t mind a little give if there’s any on Saturday.
“His soundness issues are behind him, but a little bit of give helps him.”
Sound is $17 chance in latest betting with TAB which sees the Chris Waller-trained Shared Ambition the $4.80 favourite.
Shared Ambition firmed from $6.50 after confirmation he was running at Flemington on Saturday instead of the Group 1 Metropolitan (2400m) at Randwick.
Moroney has Aktau contesting the $500,000 Group 1 Turnbull Stakes (2000m) as his final lead up to the $5 million Group 1 Caulfield Cup (2400m) on October 17.
“He’s not well weighted but it’s a nice lead-up to the race and we just felt it was the right way to go,” Moroney said.
Daniel Moor, who will ride the gelding in the Caulfield Cup, will have his first ride on the gelding on Saturday.
Aktau secured a start in the Caulfield Cup courtesy of his win in the Listed Mornington Cup (2400m) in March.
“He’s ticking over well and we’re hoping he runs well on Saturday,” Moroney said.
Aktau is a $41 chance in latest TAB betting that sees Verry Elleegant the $4.40 top pick from Surprise Baby at $6.50.