Horses physically and mentally mature at different points of their lives and trainer Annabel Neasham is excited by the prospect of what is ahead for her rising four-year-old Mo’unga.
The son of Savabeel holds a special place in Neasham’s heart as the Warwick Farm-based trainer’s first Group 1 winner and couldn’t have been more impressed with the specimen that returned into work for the upcoming spring carnival.
“He looks bloody great,” Neasham said. He has really furnished.
“I know it’s an old cliche but he really has gone from a boy to a man.
“That really does describe the horse that left the stables at the end of the autumn and the one that has returned.
“He had his first grass gallop on Tuesday and his work was very good.
“He’s never been a flashy trial horse but I’m looking forward to getting him back and up and going.
“He’s down to trial on Tuesday week, the 27th and he’ll kick off in the Winx Stakes at Randwick on August 21.”
Annabel Neasham. Photo: Toby Zerna.Source:News Corp Australia
Mo’unga was one of the three-year-old stars of the autumn, an unlucky second in the Randwick Guineas before success in the 2000m Rosehill Guineas. The colt then failed in two starts against the older horses in the Doncaster Mile and Queen Elizabeth Stakes.
Neasham said there is a blueprint preparation tabled for Mo’unga in the spring but it remains open to change should performances dictate adjustments.
“The Cox Plate is the plan but if he comes back and he looks like he’s sharp and we keep him around that mile trip then races like the Epsom and Golden Eagle are there for him,” Neasham said.
“There are so many options for a horse like him.
“The one thing I don’t think I’d do with him again is stretch him out to 2000 then try him over a shorter trip. We tried that with the Doncaster, and it didn’t work.
“At some stage early in the prep the decision will have to be made what path we’re on.
“I think a mile to 2000 will be his trip, it certainly was in the autumn but if he’s come back stronger and he does look physically stronger, they can come back a bit sharper and if that’s the case then the Golden Eagle probably becomes more enticing.
“He was arguably one of the best milers of his crop at three.”
Mo’unga is at $8 in the TAB Fixed Odds pre-nominations market for the Winx Stakes and he’s a $21 chance for the Cox Plate while $8 favourite for the Epsom Handicap and the $8 second elect in early Golden Eagle markets behind the $6 favourite Ayrton.
Originally published asMo’unga ‘gone from a boy to a man’
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