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Trainer Mike Moroney is keen to test out his up and coming three year old Alabama Express against the older horses in the Group 1 $500,000 Neds C.F. Orr Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield on Saturday.

Alabama Express, above in gold cap, has been nominated for the 2020 C.F. Orr Stakes at Caulfield. Photo by Ultimate Racing Photos.

Alabama Express, above in gold cap, has been nominated for the 2020 C.F. Orr Stakes at Caulfield. Photo by Ultimate Racing Photos.

Alabama Express is one of three three-year-olds among the seventeen C.F. Orr Stakes nominations with the James Cummings trained Microphone and Colin Little’s Vega Knight the other two youngsters in the mix.

The lightly raced Alabama Express is the winner of three of his six race starts and  Moroney would like to test the Redoute’s Choice colt in Group 1 weight for age company after he resumed for a handy two lengths win against his own age over 1100m down the Flemington straight on January 18.

Alabama Express has already tasted Stakes success with a win in the Listed $175,000 Polytrack Gothic Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield on Caulfield Cup Day during the 2019 Melbourne Spring Carnival but the colt will be facing a huge rise in class if Moroney decides to tackle weight for age company.

“My advice to the owners, and I’m one of them — but ­nowhere near the biggest — is to run him in the Group 1,” Moroney told the Herald Sun.

“He’s a stallion prospect, he’s already got value, but he can improve his value by a fair bit.”

“He’s going to have to ­improve being a colt against the older horses but I’d like to have a go at the Group 1.”

“He’s won over 1400m ­before at Caulfield. He’s up to the better three-year-olds; whether he’s up to older weight-for-age horses we’ll find out.

“He’s a pretty good horse and he can make his own luck racing on the speed. I know he’s one of the better three-year-olds (so) I suppose if the race is too strong he can run in the three-year-old race.”

Alabama Express is also among the seventeen nominations for the Group 2 $200,000 Hyland Race Colours Autumn Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield on Saturday.

The nominations for the C.F. Orr Stakes are loaded with Group 1 winners and includes Avilius, Begood Toya Mother,  Fierce Impact, Hey Doc, Kings Will Dream, Levendi, Microphone and Scales Of Justice.

Alabama Express is well fancied in the betting for C.F. Orr Stakes and is sharing the second line at $6 with Begood Toya Mother behind the early favourite Scales Of Justice at $3.40

Early betting for the 2020 C.F. Orr Stakes at Ladbrokes.com.au: $3.40 Scales Of Justice, $6 Alabama Express, Begood Toya Mother, $7 Hey Doc, $8 Microphone, $9 Fierce Impact, $11 Avilius, $14 Night’s Watch, $15 Ringerdingding, $21 Fifty Stars, $26 Kings Will Dream, $31 So Si Bon, $34 Mirage Dancer, $51 Streets Of Avalon, Vega Knight, $61 Levendi, $101 Sircconi.

Nominations for the 2020 C.F. Orr Stakes (1400m)

# Last 10 Horse Sex Age Trainer Hcp Rating
1 1x2517x1 ALABAMA EXPRESS C 3 Michael Moroney 81
2 511x42147x AVILIUS (GB) G 6 James Cummings 116
3 1111x161x7 BEGOOD TOYA MOTHER G 5 Daniel Bowman 107
4 x6720x211x FIERCE IMPACT (JPN) H 6 Matthew Smith 112
5 0x6768256x FIFTY STARS (IRE) H 5 David & B Hayes & T Dabernig 107
6 1x7x58x312 HEY DOC G 6 Tony & Calvin McEvoy 113
7 36Px58166x KINGS WILL DREAM (IRE) G 6 Chris Waller 110
8 1x50211x8x LEVENDI H 5 Peter Gelagotis 107
9 121121x3x6 MICROPHONE C 3 James Cummings 105
10 0x1322x30x MIRAGE DANCER (GB) H 6 Trent Busuttin & Natalie Young 110
11 000x59260x NIGHT’S WATCH (NZ) G 6 Chris Waller 105
12 047100x6x4 RINGERDINGDING H 4 Anthony Freedman 98
13 x53x1215x1 SCALES OF JUSTICE G 7 Lindsey Smith 114
14 2310x006x6 SIRCCONI G 5 Nick Ryan 97
15 50x125040x SO SI BON G 6 David & B Hayes & T Dabernig 104
16 x5040189x3 STREETS OF AVALON G 5 Shane Nichols 103
17 7313027x VEGAS KNIGHT G 3 Colin Little 72

About The Author

Mark Mazzaglia

Mark is a passionate journalist with a life-time involvement in the racing industry. He spent many years as an analyst and form expert at the Courier Mail and also has hands-on experience working with some of Queensland’s top trainers.