A Group One victory is top of mind for trainers Michael Moroney and Pam Gerard with talented three-year-old Harlech (Darci Brahma).
The Group Two winner put in a gallant performance last start to finish second behind star galloper Catalyst (Darci Brahma) in the Gr.1 New Zealand 2000 Guineas (1600m) at Riccarton last month and his connections are keen to get an elite level victory before he heads across the Tasman.
Moroney is looking forward to eventually getting Harlech to Australia to not only chase the big money on offer but also boost his profile.
“He’ll end up in Aussie, but at this stage he’s going to stay in New Zealand for a while,” Moroney said.
“He’s been freshened since Riccarton and will run at Ellerslie on Boxing Day over 1400m then go down to Trentham for the Group One mile.
“Being a colt, we’re concentrating on trying to win a Group One with him.”
Harlech’s Boxing Day mission is the Listed Shaw's Wires Ropes Uncle Remus Stakes (1400m) and his Trentham goal on January 11, the Gr. 1 Levin Classic (1600m).
“After Trentham he will possibly stay on for the Karaka Million 3YO Classic (1600m),” Moroney said.
“He’s nominated for the New Zealand Derby (Gr.1, 2400m), but we’re not sure about that. He will probably be coming over here instead.
“It’s most likely he would go up to Sydney, but there is the Australian Guineas (Gr.1, 1600m) here in Melbourne. We’ll work that out when he gets here.”
Harlech, a son of Darci Brahma, has won twice, including the Gr.2 James and Annie Sarten Memorial Stakes (1400m) at Te Rapa, and been placed three times from six starts.
“Each year we’ve been picking out a nice colt to leave in New Zealand to race early on,” Moroney said. “The first year it was Arrogant and then last year it was Harlech. So far we’ve got it right.”
Harlech was bred by The Oaks Stud and is out of their Group 2 winning mare Obsession. He was sold through The Oaks Stud's 2018 Book 1 Draft for $100,000 to Paul Moroney Bloodstock. The Cambridge farm will offer a full sister to Harlech in their Book 1 draft at Karaka next month.
-NZ Racing Desk