Scorched Earth impresses John Moloney

John Moloney watched Scorched Earth’s impressive win in the Andrea McKerley Handicap (1100m) at Caulfield but was no less impressed by what he saw as the three-year-old filly negotiated a wide draw and steamed home to win, and survived a protest to keep the race.

The win also vindicated Moloney’s decision to keep her racing in Melbourne rather than in Queensland.

“She was impressive enough, I thought,” Moloney said from the Gold Coast where he is inspecting yearlings before the Gold Coast Magic Millions Sales gets underway this week.

“She did a good job to get home from the back and finish off the way she did,” he added.

“They’re telling me she ran the best last 600 metres of the day so that’s a good rap.”

Already a winner at stakes level in the Listed St Albans Stakes at Moonee Valley last February, Scorched Earth could raise the bar again.

But before that, Moloney won’t be rushing things towards bigger prizes.

“She’s got some guts,” he said

“Not only is she good but she’s got a bit of guts.

“That’s what good horses need, a bit of guts as well and she showed toughness in the finish.

“She wasn’t completely done, Damien (Oliver) said there was still a little bit left so he was just keeping her straight at the finish.

“She’s a black type winner but we’ll look like for a stronger black type race.

“I don’t know if she needs an Oakleigh Plate just yet but she’ll have another run in three weeks time.”

A winner now at Caulfield, Flemington and Moonee Valley, there certainly are options but while an Group 1 Oakleigh Plate may be off the table for now, Moloney says that top line races in Adelaide in May such as the weight-for-age Group 1 Robert Sangster Stakes (1200m) the Group 1 Goodwood (1200m) might be more in line with his cautious approach.

“I won’t be overdoing it,” he said.

Jamie Kah, rider of the second horse Evening Pearl, protested against the winner for interference over the final 100 metres of the race.

While the protest was dismissed, Damien Oliver received a nine meeting suspension which he will commence after Saturday’s Standish Handicap meeting at Flemington.

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