Shelby Cobra. Picture: Racing Photos"
Promising three-year-old Shelby Cobra confirmed his new travel arrangements to Adelaide in May with a pleasing jump-out at Flemington on Friday.
The Listed winner from last spring’s Flemington carnival was to have chased the big money in Sydney this autumn until an untimely knock to a hock put Adelaide on his radar instead.
“He had a little bit of setback,” trainer Mike Moroney explained of the Toronado gelding. “He knocked the outside of his hock on the gates and it was sore for a bit so we had to back-off until that came right hence we had to miss Sydney.
“We had some of those good three-year-olds sprints there in mind but he’s not going to be ready in time so we’ll probably head towards Adelaide for races like the Euclase (Tobin Bronze Stakes) and the Goodwood.”
The $200,000 group 2 Tobin Bronze Stakes is at Morphettville on May 1 with the $500,000 Group 1 Goodwood over the same 1200m trip, two weeks later.
Shelby Cobra ran in the first jump-out on the inside grass on Friday over 800 metres and Moroney said he stretched out nicely.
“He went well,” he said. “We relaxed him back and he ran home well and didn’t get beaten that far. We’ll see how he pulls-up first but he may go straight to the races (in Melbourne).”
Shelby Cobra has won two of his four starts with his last outing being a tired unplaced run at Ballarat in November when the $1.65 favourite. Moroney said that run has not dulled his enthusiasm for the gelding.
“He’s a pretty capable horse,” he said. “He’s going to improve and keep improving. He’s well above average.”
While Shelby Cobra won’t be in Sydney this autumn, Moroney’s star mare Tofane will be.
The trainer explained the seven-day push-back of the Sydney carnival means the Group 1 winning mare can get a chance at a bigger piece of the autumn spoils via the Group 2 $300,000 Sapphire Stakes for fillies and mares over 1200m on April 10.
Tofane, who has had a late start to racing in 2021 due to a kidney infection, was to have run in a Group 3 sprint a Randwick for half the prizemoney on final day until the carnival was moved back a week.
Moroney said he is looking forward to the Australian debut at Bendigo on Saturday of prized import English King, despite reservations about a potentially wet surface.
“Paul (Moroney’s brother and buyer of the horse) told me he spoke to Ed Walker, English King’s former trainer and he just said that the firmer the better for him,” Moroney said.
“When he walked the track before the Derby Trial (at Lingfield), they were thinking about scratching him because they thought it was too firm.
“He put in a nice piece of work on Tuesday on wet ground which was a bit of a surprise but I’ve had them do that and then strike a wet track on race day and struggle.”