Tancred Stakes: Peter Moody worries about heavy track at Rosehill for Spanish Mission

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Trainer Peter Moody admits he is concerned about a heavy track for Spanish Mission in the Group 1 Tancred Stakes at Rosehill.

Coach Peter Moody has a word of warning for those who automatically rate the Australian Cup result as the best fitness benchmark for the $1.5m Group 1 (2,400m) Tancred Stakes at Rosehill Gardens Saturday.

Duais beat Think It Over and Moody’s stayer Spanish Mission in the Australian Cup and the trio dominates the bets for the Tancred.

But Moody pointed out that the remaining three ran on a very firm surface at Flemington’s last start and could face a very heavy surface at Rosehill.

“I respect that we have three horses coming off a very hard track and a very tough race,” Moody said.

“Then they go back two weeks and hit a track that could be a Heavy 10.

“I don’t neglect the form, but I am concerned about the circumstances surrounding all three of them.”

Fixed odds TAB price evaluators have Tancred stakes at $10 or more in the field outside the top three with favorite Duais at $2.90 while Think It Over and Spanish Mission are at $4.

Moody returned to coaching Spanish Mission after the England stayer finished third ahead of Verry Elleegant and Incentivize in the Melbourne Cup last spring.

Spanish Mission has shaped up promisingly under Moody with two minor finishes in the Carlyon Cup and Australian Cup since taking over, but the coach admits he has ‘no idea’ how his stayer will handle the heavy trail.

“My confidence level isn’t great because I have no idea,” Moody said.

“He ran well and solidly and he’s starting to get into his good distance range.

“I’m confident in the horse’s abilities but not confident in him on the field until I’ve seen him do the trick.”

Spanish Mission was a top-class stay in England, winning twice at Group 2 level in the Doncaster Cup and Yorkshire Cup, and he stretched champion Stradivarius in the Lonsdale Cup, before his place in the Melbourne Cup last spring .

“For a six-year-old, he’s a lovely, calm horse,” Moody said.

“He’s got a great nature, he’s good at doing everything, and we’re getting to know him all the time.”

Spanish Mission is currently the $8 favorite for the $2million Sydney Cup in Group 1 (3200m) at the Championships at Royal Randwick on April 9.

But Moody stopped short of declaring Spanish Mission a certain Sydney Cup starter.

“It’s not imperative that he go to the Sydney Cup,” Moody said.

“The Tancred is the race we had reserved for him and he did well.

“We’ll see how he is after Saturday, but there’s no guarantee he’ll go to the Cup.”

Originally published as Tancred Stakes: Peter Moody worries about heavy track at Rosehill for Spanish Mission


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