Caulfield-based trainer John Moloney does not have an overly large stable but on Saturday at Sandown he says he will feel like Ciaron Maher.
In partnership with David Eustace, Maher is the state’s leading, and busiest trainer, with stables at Caulfield and Ballarat and an interstate base in Sydney at Warwick Farm.
It is not uncommon for Maher and Eustace to have multiple runners at meetings around the country, but for Moloney it will be something new as he takes four runners to Saturday’s meeting.
“I can’t remember doing that for a while, especially a Saturday,” Moloney said.
“I might have had two, but I can’t remember taking four for a long time. Anyway, it’s good to be taking an in-form team. They’re all in good shape.”
Moloney will be represented by last start winners Imperial Lad in the Ladbrokes Back Yourself Handicap (1300m) and Milton Park in the Tile Importer Handicap (1400m) along with in form pair Sunday Prayer in the MRC Members Handicap (1500m) and Fine Dane in The Big Screen Company Handicap (1000m).
Milton Park and Damien Oliver, picture Racing Photos
It is Milton Park that has Moloney excited with the trainer hoping the three-year-old can live up to expectations and be a Group 1 Australian Guineas (1600m) contender on February 27.
Milton Park resumed with a 1400m victory at Flemington on January 9.
“He’s such a big striding horse that we have to keep him on big, open tracks,” Moloney said.
“He was probably at the end of it when he ran at The Valley (last September), but he was still only beaten two lengths there and never got around the track, so we’ll give him a go at Sandown and see how he likes that.”
A big, gangly type, Moloney said Milton Park will continue to improve with racing and importantly Damien Oliver sticks with the three-year-old on Saturday.
“He seems good and I haven’t had any problems with him since his first-up win and he’s trained on well,” Moloney said.
“By rights he should improve, but if he holds what he’s got, then he should do well, I think.
“He’s entered for the Australian Guineas and if you have a horse doing well at this time of the year and being able to win in Saturday grade, as a three-year-old, you have to be in it to win it.”
Moloney said the gelding of Imperial Lad had turned him around with a first-up win at Sandown, while Sunday Pray and Fine Dane were in good form.
“Fine Dane has only had one run at Sandown for a win, so he does shape up pretty well to go over there and Sunday Pray is racing well,” Moloney said.
“And both get the claim from Will Price who is starring at present.”