Bari­tone has right key

Vil­liers crown will be sweet Syd­ney first for Moroney

Townsville Bulletin - - Raceguide -

LIGHTLY raced Mr Bari­tone has al­ready pro­vided trainer Michael Moroney with one ca­reer first and will be out to de­liver him an­other in to­day’s Vil­liers Stakes (1600m) at Rand­wick.

Moroney, who has bases in Melbourne and New Zealand, has en­joyed great suc­cess in Aus­tralia with his big-race wins in­clud­ing the 2000 Melbourne Cup with Brew and 1997 Vic­to­ria Derby with Sec­ond Com­ing.

But un­til Mr Bari­tone posted an ef­fort­less 5+ length vic­tory at Rand­wick in July, Syd­ney was an un­happy hunt­ing ground for the trans-Tas­man trainer.

His smart filly French Lady ran into an in-form Wild Iris in the 2004 AJC Aus­tralian Oaks while Ma­hoenui Lass was run­nerup to Kapchat in the 1994 Cool­more Clas­sic.

‘‘I had a lot of Group One plac­ings but I hadn’t won one, full stop,’’ Moroney said.

‘‘I ran sec­ond in an AJC Oaks and sec­ond in a Group One mares race at Rose­hill but I was mainly tak­ing Group horses there and they were run­ning plac­ings in Group races.’’

To­day Moroney will again put his faith in Mr Bari­tone to break an­other Syd­ney duck.

If the five-year-old can up­set the Group Two Vil­liers field he will pro­vide Moroney with his first stakes suc­cess in Syd­ney.

Mr Bari­tone was yes­ter­day rated a $26 chance with TAB Sports­bet to do just that and, while Moroney con­ceded win­ning the Vil­liers would be a tough task, he said it wasn’t be­yond the geld­ing.

‘‘It would be nice,’’ Moroney said. ‘‘He’s go­ing to be a chance, no mat­ter what, he’s al­ways com­pet­i­tive.

‘‘Af­ter he won in Syd­ney the first time and won quite eas­ily we de­cided to give him a break and aim him to­wards the Vil­liers.

‘‘It does look a stronger race than nor­mal this year, there are a lot of black type win­ners and he hasn’t won black type.

‘‘He seems good. He stayed up in Syd­ney af­ter his last run and he’s trained on well.’’

Mr Bari­tone has had five runs back from a spell and has missed a cheque just once in 15 starts.

He failed by a long head to hold off Nu­clear Sky over 1500m at Rose­hill last start and while to­day will be his first test over 1600m, Moroney says he is bred to han­dle the trip.

‘‘I think he will run it out. He’s out of a stout fam­ily on his dam’s side,’’ he said.

Mr Bari­tone will be rid­den by Jay Ford, who will be out to erase the dis­ap­point­ment of Takeover Tar­get’s forced with­drawal from the Hong Kong Sprint ear­lier this month due to a swab ir­reg­u­lar­ity.

Mean­while, Moroney said stable star Xcel­lent was con­tin­u­ing to progress well from a ten­don op­er­a­tion and re­mained on track for an au­tumn cam­paign in Syd­ney.

BIG ASK . . . Mr Bari­tone, pic­tured bolt­ing in at Rand­wick in July, will pro­vide Michael Moroney with his first Group win­ner in Syd­ney if he can win to­day’s Vil­liers Stakes

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