Queensland Derby hopeful Master Moonlite flexed his muscles for the first time for his new connections.
Stepping out at the Terang trials yesterday (Sunday), the highly regarded for New Zealand three-year-old scored an effortless victory in his 2180m public trial.
Purchased recently by clients of the Mattie Craven stable, the Art Major gelding scored in a time of 2:01.3 while covering the final 800m in a slick 56.5 seconds.
And now he’s ready to start for his new owners as they build towards a Brisbane winter carnival campaign.
“I was really happy with the way he performed and he’s ready to race following that hit-out. I’m looking at a race next week down here and then we’ll keep going from there.” Craven said.
Previously prepared by Christchurch based horseman Cran Dalgety, Master Moonlite is no stranger to Australian fans after competing in last year’s Breeders Crown series.
At his most recent start on March 9 at Alexandra Park, Auckland, Master Moonlite finished fourth behind Italian Delight.
He returned south and was being readied for the Gr.1 New Zealand Derby at Addington before being sold.
Craven is no stranger to Brisbane after campaigning here two years ago with the likes of Kimani, Im Wrongly Accused and Roy George.
“I thoroughly enjoyed my time in Brisbane and I’m keen to get back, things didn’t pan out that year but it was a great experience and a great opportunity.
“I think this horse is capable of taking the Queensland Derby and we’ll give him his chance, he’s also Vicbred eligible so we’ll target that series before making the trip north at this point.
“Obviously Colt Thirty One is pretty smart but I’m keen to take him on.”
The Queensland Derby is scheduled for July 21.
Craven heads to Europe this week to spend time with leading horseman Timo Nurmos, the trainer of star performer Readly Express.
Chris Barsby | RQ Web News | May 14