MOUDRE is running out of chances to force his way into the $6.2 million Melbourne Cup field after a minor placing in yesterday’s $300,000 Geelong Cup.
The Ciaron Maher-trained galloper needed to win the group 3 race and get a penalty to force his way into the mix for the Melbourne Cup on November 5.
Ibicenco beat Verdant by a neck, with Moudre more than four lengths away in third place on a heavy track in the 2400-metre race.
Maher, who has stables at Winslow and Caulfield, said the eight-year-old ran well but faced a tough task on the leader-favoured track.
“There was definitely a track bias to horses on the inside,” Maher said.
‘‘I was hoping Forgotten Voice would take us into the race but he just never took us there.
‘‘We were caught out wider than I wanted to be
“I thought in the first part of the straight we could win but we only plugged to the line. It was a very good ride by Craig Williams. He gave the horse every chance.
‘‘Craig just said Moudre never let down as good as he can.”
The group 1-winning trainer said he would enter Moudre in next Wednesday’s Bendigo Cup and the Lexus Stakes (2500m) on the first day of the Flemington Spring Carnival.
“We’ll enter him in some of the upcoming feature races but if the tracks are too hard we will not be running him,” Maher said.
“We’ll just monitor him closely over the next few days to see that he pulled up well after today’s run before making any plans in concrete.”
On a more positive note, Maher thinks Name The Day, which won the opening race on the nine-event program yesterday, may be next year’s Warrnambool Cup winner.
Name The Day defeated Paige’s Boy by a length in the benchmark 78 race over 1500 metres.
The four-year-old was having only his second start for the Maher stable.
“I’ve got a fair rap on Name The Day,” Maher said.
‘‘He had his first start for us at Bairnsdale.
‘‘We knew he had improved from that effort but we were worried about the heavy track.
‘‘I reckon Name The Day will stay all day and he showed today that he can handle wet tracks.
‘‘The long-term aim may be the 2014 Warrnambool Cup.
‘‘He’s a very nice horse.”
The four-year-old picked up $12,000 in prizemoney for connections with his win.