Pearce brothers settle on Moir Stakes 2023 for Acromantula

Ben Pearce, along with co-trainer and brother, Dan, said there were a couple of choices on the table for Acromantula, but they settled on Friday week’s G1 Moir Stakes (1000m) as the best option.

Moonee Valley’s unique track has proven to be a happy hunting ground for Acromantula, who landed a career best win in the Listed Carlyon Stakes (1000m) last month.

Ridden by Craig Williams, the speedy gelding led and won comfortably by a length in a time that was just outside the track record set by Inundation a year ago.

Acromantula’s eighth career victory sits snugly in the middle of a first-up third in a benchmark 100 contest and a fifth placing to Imperatriz in the G2 McEwen Stakes (1000m), both races also at Moonee Valley.

Pearce admits Acromantula faces a steep Group 1 test in the Moir Stakes, a race populated by some of Australia’s best sprinters: Black Caviar, Nature Strip and Miss Andretti.

“We were looking at a couple of races and even thought about going up to Sydney,” Ben Pearce told The Races WA.

“In the end we thought why not stay in Melbourne and race at Moonee Valley where he’s been successful before.

“Who knows how the track will play at Moonee Valley, if it’s on pace he could be right in it.

“The other point we had to consider is it will give him five weeks from the Moir to the Prince Of Wales at Ascot.

“If he could finish in the first three we would be over the moon.

“He’s already done his job though by winning the Carlyon Stakes, that’s the race we pinpointed.”

The Prince Of Wales Stakes (1000m) on November 4 and the Colonel Reeves Stakes (1100m) a fortnight later at Ascot are key lead-up race before the G1 Winterbottom Stakes (1200m).

With all eight career wins at 1000m, there is a distance query on Acromantula handling Perth’s premier sprint, but Pearce says if conditions suit, the six-year-old could pose a threat.

“Im not convinced he can get 1200m, but if Ascot on the day is on pace and he finds the front, you never know, he could be hard to run down,” Pearce said.

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