Michael Moroney (Image: Racing Photos)

Trainer Michael Moroney (Image: Racing Photos)

Melbourne Cup prospect to make local debut

Four-year-old gelding Aktau will make his Australian debut on Saturday at Flemington and trainer Michael Moroney has big plans for him.

"Our main goal is that he's going to be our stayer that takes us to the Lexus Melbourne Cup for the next few years," Moroney said.

"He's a really nice staying horse, big leggy bloke, he's 17 hands and he just looks a bit unmade.

"He's a bit similar to Vengeur Masque at the same stage and that's what we really wanted, a horse that we could replace Vengeur Masque with."

The gelding by Teofilo has been in Australia for a few months, but Moroney has been patient to ensure his bigger-picture plan is achievable.

"He came out with the other horses for the carnival, but we kept him in work, missed the carnival and just brought him up our own way," Moroney added.

"I want to give him two or three runs now and then let him acclimatise for the spring."

While far from the finished product, Moroney can see plenty of upside and is still hopeful of a strong first-up performance on Saturday.

"He doesn't know his craft, when he gallops here he's very green and new, probably changing country and the speed they go has got him a little baffled, but I'm sure he'll work it out and we'll work him out," he said.

"He's nice and fit, he's well and truly forward enough to run a nice mile."