Aktau back on track for Turnbull Stakes

Mike Moroney is expecting boom stayer Aktau to show he’s on track for the Caulfield Cup with a forward showing in the Turnbull Stakes.

“It’s going to be a tough assignment but I think he’s ready to run a big race and it will bring him on to peak in the Caulfield Cup,” Moroney said.

Aktau will take on a star-studded line up in Saturday’s 2000 metre feature at Flemington as he will be up against Verry Elleegant, Surprise Baby, Master Of Wine, Superstorm, Dalasan and Vow And Declare.

From his first four Australian starts, Aktau won three races and finished third on the other occasion and his first-up ninth over 1700 metres at Flemington was his first unplaced run here.

Moroney said it was a pleasing effort and there were excuses as he was caught wide and had to face the breeze.

He will be ridden in the Turnbull Stakes by Daniel Moor who will retain the ride for the Caulfield Cup.

Aktau secured a golden ticket into the Caulfield Cup when he won the Mornington Cup in March.

The five-year-old is 50th in the Melbourne Cup order of entry.

“Hopefully he can get in the Melbourne Cup from his next two starts but if he hasn’t got in, we will look at running him in the Hotham Handicap,” Moroney said.

Moroney’s other former German stayer Sound will run in The Bart Cummings and will be ridden by Jamie Kah as he tries to win his way into the Melbourne Cup.

Sound has contested the past two editions of the famous race finishing 18th in 2018 and 12th last year and Moroney is aiming for a third attempt.

Sound is also well down the order for the Melbourne Cup at 45th on the latest list.

“I think he’s going really well and he’s the best he’s been since he’s been here,” Moroney said.

“He came here as a light stallion, put on some weight last year but he’s really put the condition on and is much stronger this time.”

Sound finished second at his last start at Moonee Valley over 2040 metres on September 5.

The stable’s runner in The Everest, Tofane will have her final lead-in race when she starts in the Gilgai Stakes over 1200 metres.

Moroney said he was pleased with her first-up third in the Bobbie Lewis Stakes when she was narrowly beaten by Zoutori.

“She wasn’t suited in that race as they cantered and then sprinted home. She likes the straight and will run well,” he said.