Fresh from success in the Listed Sandown Cup (3200m) at Caulfield last weekend, Flemington trainer Mike Moroney is mulling over options for Wentwood Grange graduate Dragon Storm.
Gr.3 New Zealand Cup (3200m) winner Dragon Storm had been disappointing in his three runs leading into his fast-finishing victory in the Sandown Cup and while there had been thoughts of sending Dragon Storm back to New Zealand, those plans are now on ice.
“It is more than likely we will have a tilt at the Bagot Handicap (Listed, 2800m) and then the Adelaide Cup (Gr.2, 3200m),” Moroney said.
“According to Mr (Alan) Fu, the owner, because he had an operation on a knee as a young horse he doesn’t go as well right-handed. He is not as good that way around so we are looking at the other way around which these two races are.
“He has come through the run really well.”
Dragon Storm was prepared by Ruakaka trainer Chris Gibbs to win the New Zealand Cup, with the owners later electing to try their hand across the Tasman and sending him to Moroney, who also operates a stable in Matamata in partnership with Pam Gerard.
“He had a nice break in New Zealand before he was able to get here and he hasn’t had that many runs for an older horse, and he has only had four runs this campaign,” Moroney said.
“I think we can keep him ticking over with little changes in environment and that sort of thing. We have got him up and fit now and he seems to love the stable life.
“We will just change things around a little bit between the farm and the stable and I think we will be able to keep him up for those couple of runs.
“He had a little change up in his work leading into Saturday and popping him over logs and the final one was a gear change (blinkers off and nose roll on). The combination of the three or anyone of them turned him around,” Moroney said.
Bred by Joe Wallis, Dragon Strom is by Gr.1 Melbourne Cup (3200m) winner Shocking out of dual Gr.1 Auckland Cup (3200m) winner Prize Lady, so he's certainly bred to stay.
He was born and raised at Wentwood Grange, through whose 2016 NZB Yearling Sale draft he was initially sold for $55,000.
The galloper is raced by a New Zealand syndicate of local Chinese owners, headed by Alan Fu, who went to $150,000 to secure Dragon Storm as a two-year-old at the NZB Ready To Run Sale from the draft of Mana Park. – NZ Racing Desk