Australian Cup Prelude to decide Emissary direction

Trainer Mike Moroney will have a clearer idea of the path in which Melbourne Cup placegetter Emissary is heading after he has his second-up run at Flemington.

Moroney has two options for Emissary, one of which includes the Group 1 Australian Cup (2000m) at Flemington on March 25, or a campaign in Sydney.

That will be decided after Emissary contests the Australian Cup Prelude (2000m) on Saturday.

Second to Gold Trip in the Group 1 Melbourne Cup (3200m) at Flemington in November, Emissary had his first run since when fifth in the Group 2 Peter Young Stakes (1800m) at Sandown on February 25.

That race was a little more gruelling than Moroney had expected, but the trainer was delighted with the way Emissary came through the contest.

“He’s come through it well,” Moroney said.

“It was a pretty tough run race first-up, but he’s a pretty tough horse but I had him pretty forward, so I’m glad I did.

“It was a pretty tough assignment the way it was run.”

The saddle on Deny Knowledge shifted forward which resulted in the Peter Young being run at a brutal tempo, forcing Emissary to be used up earlier than had been anticipated.

It showed Moroney that Emissary was a little more dour than he had been previously which has resulted in the trainer considering a change of autumn targets.

Original plans were to run in the Australian Cup and then head to Sydney for the Group 1 Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2000m) at Randwick, but Moroney is now considering longer assignments.

“We initially had thoughts of the Australian Cup and the Queen Elizabeth, but now we’re thinking more along the lines of the Tancred Stakes (2400m on March 25) and Sydney Cup (3200m on April 8) from what we’ve seen so far,” Moroney said.

“This race is the crossroads with where we head with him, but I’m thinking the latter rather than the former at this stage.”

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