Ballarat trainer Mitch Freedman started with the top two horses in the ballot for next month’s $500,000 VOBIS Sires Guineas (1600m) at Caulfield.
When the ballot order was recently released, Freedman had his gelding Southern Moon sitting at the top and was followed by the stable’s other exciting stayer, Moonlight Maid, at No. 2.
Both are sired by Swettenham Stud stallion Puissance de Lune.
Southern Moon earnt his No. 1 ranking with $413,150 to his name. The three year-old filly, Moonlight Maid, won the Group 2 VRC Edward Manifold Stakes to give Puissance de Lune his first stakes winner, was next with $326,500.
Southern Moon finished second in November’s Victoria Derby (2500m), while five days later Moonlight Maid was third in the VRC Oaks (2500m).
Unfortunately Southern Moon had bone chips removed after his Derby run. Freedman explained that Southern Moon had suffered a couple of setbacks which had ended any chance at the big race at Caulfield on April 18.
“He won’t be seen for a while,” Freedman said.
“He has a few little niggles at the moment.”
But Moonlight Maid is certainly on track for the VOBIS Sires Guineas.
She resumed in the Group 2 Sunline Stakes at The Valley last Friday night and worked home strongly to finish three lengths from the winner Mamzelle Tess.
Freedman said Moonlight Maid’s goal this preparation is the Group 1 Australasian Oaks in Adelaide in May.
“Obviously her plans are to go to South Australia in May but those plans are up in the air at the moment as all plans are,” Freedman said.
“I don’t know how long racing can keep going at the moment.”
Moonlight Maid went into Friday night’s race with two trials behind her and Freedman was delighted with her performance.
“I thought she ran a terrific race as it was very high-pressured.” Freedman said.
“And from her first up run last time, she certainly ran a lot better than that. She is on track for the Australasian Oaks.”
Freedman said the Group 1 Australasian Oaks (2000m) at Morphettville on May 2 was always Moonlight Maid’s target.