Wet track crucial for Mike Moroney import in Queen Elizabeth Stakes

Mike Moroney is banking on a rain-affected track proving pivotal for import Alenquer when he heads to Sydney to take on heavyweights Anamoe and Dubai Honour in the Queen Elizabeth Stakes.

A Group 1 winner in Ireland, Alenquer disappointed at his Australian debut when he failed to beat a runner home in the All Star Mile (1600m) after producing some encouraging trackwork in the lead-up.

In hindsight, Moroney feels the entire didn’t enjoy the firm Moonee Valley track and says a 400m distance rise will also be more to his liking at Randwick.

“A change of track conditions is the big thing because he felt the ground badly,” Moroney said.

“I thought we had him back on track but we weren’t to know the ground was going to be that firm and what he was like on firm ground.

“Stepping to 2000-metres we think will help as well.”

Alenquer was well beaten in the All-Star Mile although the form from the race has been franked with winner Mr Brightside landing back-to-back Doncaster Miles last weekend and runner-up Cascadian subsequently claiming the Australian Cup.

The five-year-old will be one of two Group 1 runners for Moroney on Day Two of The Championships along with Nerve Not Verve in the Sydney Cup (3200m).

The mare has been knocking on the door for a win after placing at her past three starts in stakes company, the latest a brave third in the Chairman’s Quality (2600m), a race that has produced 11 of the past 20 Sydney Cup winners.

“She’s a pretty tough mare, she’s taking travelling and racing really well,” Moroney said.

“She’s one of those mares where, if I didn’t do that to her, she gets away on you pretty quick.

“She is nice and fit for the two miles.”

Dean Holland rides Nerve Not Verve from barrier two while decorated jockey Joao Moreira links with Alenquer in the Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2000m).

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