The John Moore-trained Military Attack, arguably the most improved horse on the world racing stage, overnight scored a commanding win in the $3 million Group 1 Singapore Airlines International Cup (2000m) and may now be bound for the Moonee Valley Racing Club’s showpiece, the Group 1 Sportingbet Cox Plate (2040m).
“The Cox Plate would be a nice race for him now,” said Moore after breaking his International racing duck with the gelding who posted his fourth consecutive win on a night which belonged to Hong Kong with Lucky Nine having earlier won the KrisFlyer and Moore also claiming second in the Cup with Dan Excel.
“He’ll have a break now and I’ll be seriously looking at the Cox Plate. I know the Moonee Valley Racing Club has sent all the details to (owner) Steven Lo and I’ll have a good talk to Steven about it. This is a serious horse now, he’s kept progressing and we probably have to keep raising the bar.
“It will be a challenge to do both – to take on the Cox Plate and also the Hong Kong (International) Cup in December but it might be manageable. The horse has shown now that he thrives on travel and he’s good fresh so we can train him that way,” he said.
Moore said he was delighted to have the international monkey off his back after a number of major race seconds when abroad, including with Zaidan in last year’s Singapore Cup. “It’s great to have that out of the way and my next target is to win a Group 1 race in Australia,” he said.
Military Attack won the 2000 metres feature by 3.25 lengths from his stablemate Dan Excel and ran near course record time in a performance which jockey Zac Purton described as “phenomenal”. The victory followed his success in the APQEII Cup on 28 April.
“I expected him to go close but of course I was surprised that he was able to blow them away like that,” said Purton.
Last year’s Doomben Cup winner Mawingo returned to something like his best form, at his first run for local trainer Michael Freedman, when he finished a head behind Dan Excel in third place.
The Australian Bloodstock-owned German import, formerly trained out of Victoria by Freedman’s brother Anthony, was closing late and could well have grabbed second in a few more strides.
“He’s run one hell of a race. He did have a dream run and couldn’t match the winner but he was just pipped for second. He ran very well,” said jockey Hugh Bowman.
“I’ve only ridden him a couple of times and that was by far his best run under me and probably his best since last year’s Doomben Cup.”
The 2011 Melbourne Cup runner-up Red Cadeaux finished eighth and found the trip “too short” according to jockey Gerald Mosse, after having competed at 3200 metres in Japan at his previous run.
Story by Steve Moran