Horse Racing

John Moloney carefully steers the intrepid scorched Earth

Image: Bruno Cannatelli

John Moloney won’t be swayed to level up too soon with Scorched Earth, but, again, not for too long

John Moloney watched Scorched Earth’s impressive win over Andrea McKerley (1100m) at Caulfield but was equally impressed by what he saw as the chubby three-year-old negotiated a wide and intriguing draw. Go home to win, and survive a protest to keep the Race.

The win also vindicates Moloney’s decision to keep her racing in Melbourne instead of in Queensland.

“I think she was impressed enough,” said Moloney from the Gold Coast, where he was checking out birds of prey ahead of this week’s Gold Coast Magical Million Sales.

“She did a great job coming home from the back and finishing the way she did,” he added.

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

Already a winner at stake in the Moonee Valley-listed St Albans Stock last February, Scorched Earth could raise this level once again.

But before that, Moloney won’t be in a hurry towards the bigger prizes.

“She has some guts,” he said

“She is not only good but also has a bit of guts.

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

“She wasn’t done yet, Damien (Oliver) said there was still a bit more so he just kept her going straight to the finish line.

“She is the winner of the black category but we are going to be like a stronger race for the blacks.

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

A current winner at Caulfield, Flemington and Moonee Valley, there are certainly options but while Group 1 Oakleigh Plate Moloney says the top races in Adelaide in May could be off the table, such as the weight-for-age race Group 1 Robert Sangster Stakes (1200m) the Group 1 Goodwood (1200m) may be better suited to his cautious approach.

“I won’t overdo it,” he said.

Jamie Kah, who rode second horse Evening Pearl, protested to the winner for interfering in the final 100 meters of the race.

While the protest was dismissed, Damien Oliver received nine suspended meetings which he would then start Saturday’s Independent Handicap meeting in Flemington.

*For existing customers only. 2nd Racing Bet. Except SA & WA. T&C is applicable. Responsible gambling.

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