The Melbourne Cup is still the aim for Moudre, despite the seven-year-old running last in the $500,000 group 1 Turnbull Stakes on Saturday.
Trainer Ciaron Maher said Moudre had pulled up with a stiff off-front shoulder, which may be the reason why his talented galloper put in the worst run of his career in the race over 2000 metres at Flemington.
“His effort in the Turnbull Stakes was disappointing,” Maher said.
“I really can’t pinpoint what went wrong with him, only that he was stiff in the shoulder.
“Apart from the stiffness in the shoulder, we could find nothing else wrong with him on Sunday. We’re trying to get the stiffness worked out of his shoulder now.
“We’ll be keeping a close eye on him to see if any problems surface. If they surface we will be looking for a solution.”
Maher, who has stables at Caulfield and Winslow, said he was pleased with how Moudre had raced in Saturday’s feature race until into the home straight.
“I just thought he would stretch out in the straight but he never did,” he said.
“The reason for his poor effort might have been that the track was a bit too hard for him or he just failed at his second run in 18 months.
“I’m not really sure. We know he’s a lot better horse than that run.
“As I said, we will be keeping a close eye on him over the next few days to see if any problems surface.”
The Turnbull Stakes was Moudre’s second run after an 18-month break from racing after he injured his off-front tendon.
Maher said the horse showed no signs of soreness in the tendon after the race.
“His tendon seems really good. There’s no heat in it,” he said.
“We’ll just push along the path of getting him ready for the Melbourne Cup.”
The group 1-winning trainer said he would accept with Moudre for the $2.5 million group 1 Caulfield Cup over 2400 metres on Saturday, October 20, and possibly the $300,000 group 3 Geelong Cup over 2400 metres on Wednesday, October 24.
“We’ll see if we get a run in the Caulfield Cup,” Maher said.
“If we don’t we’ll go down the path of the Geelong Cup.
“Moudre did run second in the 2010 Geelong Cup behind the eventual Melbourne Cup winner, Americain.
“Our main focus is still the Melbourne Cup. We’ve just got to work out the best way of getting him into the race.”
Moudre has won seven of his 22 starts.