Mal’s re­venge

Ka­vanagh upbeat about his star in St Ge­orge Stakes

The Sportsman Special Issue - - 2 - By MARK RYAN

MAL­DI­VIAN can con­firm his high rat­ing in Aus­tralian Cup mar­kets by bouncing back with a win in Satur­day’s Group Two St Ge­orge Stakes at Caulfield.

As Mark Ka­vanagh pre­dicted, the Zabeel five-year-old was vul­ner­a­ble sec­ond-up when he ran 13th to Shinzig in the Group OneCF Orr Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield last Satur­day week.

He has never won sec­ondup and he has never won at less than 1600 me­tres,’’ Ka­vanagh said.

Last spring he was well held sec­ond-up when fourth to Marasco in the Makybe Diva Stakes (1600m) at Flem­ing­ton, but the 1800 me­tres will be more to his lik­ing on Satur­day.’’

Ka­vanagh said he could not be­lieve how short bet­ting agen­cies had Mal­di­vian, who is cur­rently $2.80 favourite, this far out from the $1 mil­lion Aus­tralian Cup (2000m) at Flem­ing­ton on March 8.

The win­ner of the Group One Caulfield Stakes (2000m) last spring, Mal­di­vian was the rag­ing favourite for the Caulfield Cup but was sen­sa­tion­ally scratched when he hit his head on a piece of cam­era equip­ment in­ad­ver­tently left in his bar­rier stall.

On Satur­day he will again meet Aus­tralian Cup ri­vals Ru­bis­cent, Princess Coup, Sirmione, Douro Val­ley and Fi­u­mi­cino, who all beat him home in the Orr.

Also among the 12 nom­i­na­tions for the weight-for-age con­test is the David Hayestrained Sea­farer who won well over 1400m when sec­ond-up at Caulfield on Orr Day, beat­ing Sandown Stakes win­ner Gotta Have Heart.

An­thony Cum­mings will start both Ter­an­aba, who fin­ished 14th of the 16 run­ners in the Orr, and Red Lord in the St Ge­orge.

Ter­an­aba, the 2006 Spring Cham­pion Stakes win­ner, is head­ing to­wards the Aus­tralian Cup, but Red Lord, win­ner of The Lavazza Long Black (2800m) at Flem­ing­ton on Mel­bourne Cup Day, will re­turn to Syd­ney af­ter the St Ge­orge.

Red Lord re­sumed with an en­cour­ag­ing fifth to Sea­farer at Caulfield on Fe­bru­ary 9. TRAINERPeterMor­ga­nis look­ing to test Tas­ma­nian Derby win­nerMe­gaBoss against stronger com­pany in Satur­day week’sGroupTwo Au­tum­nClas­sic at Caulfield, such is the im­prove­ment he says the geld­ing has made.

Me­gaBoss was a maiden be­fore break­ing through in theGroupThree Tas­ma­nian Derby (2200m) at Ho­bart last Satur­day week at his sixth start.

Thetrip away might have made­him. I’ve never seen a horse so proud of him­self,’’ Mor­gan­said.

I’maim­inghim­to­wards the South Aus­tralian Derby (in May), but I’mthink­ing of run­ninghimin theAu­tumn Clas­sic be­cause he pulled up in ex­cel­lent or­der af­ter the trip.

I don’tknowwhether he’s up to that race, but I had his blood done and I can’t fault him.

He’s im­proved six lengths, he’s re­ally bloomed. He’d done that well that I dashed­himup over 400 me­tres on the morn­ing of the race which is some­thing I don’t nor­mally do.’’

Me­gaBoss was flown to Tas­ma­nia on the Thurs­day morn­ing be­fore the race and re­turned to Vic­to­ria the fol­low­ing Tues­day.

Rid­den by DanielMoor, the three-year-old turned the ta­bles onSandown win­ner Araza­mataz, scor­ing by 13/ lengths af­ter be­ing headed by that colt in the straight.

It was a good ef­fort as he had worked hard up the hill. Craig Ne­witt, whorode­him whenhe ran sec­ond to Araza­mataz over 1800 me­tres atSandown, said he’d beat­h­i­mover more ground and he was right.’’

By1997 Prix de Arc de Tri­om­phe win­ner Pein­tre Cele­bre, Me­gaBoss was bred at Rose­mont Stud at Ceres, near Gee­long, and was sold for $70,000 at the 2006 Mel­bourne Premier Year­ling Sale.

Raced by busi­ness­man Bruce Mathieson, Mega Boss is out of the De­fen­sive Play­mareMe­gaAchiever whois a half-sis­ter to Showella, whowon­the 1999 SADerby and the 2000Red Lion Stakes in­NewZealand atGroupOnelevel, and to Buster Jones, a du­alGroup Three win­ner.

De­fen­sive Play mares have pro­duced the likes of Vic­to­ria Derby and Mel­bourneCup­win­ner Ef­fi­cient, Mackinnon Stakes win­ner Sirmione and Wake­ful Stakes win­ner Zarita.

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