Maggie Moo Moo Primed For Victorian Debut

MAGGIE Moo Moo had already garnered the respect of the racing public before her close-up fourth in last month’s Association Cup Final at Wentworth Park.

Isaac Murphy

5 May 2021

MAGGIE Moo Moo had already garnered the respect of the Queensland racing public before her close-up fourth placed finish in last month’s Group 1 Association Cup Final (720m) at Wentworth Park.

And on Thursday night at Sandown Park trainer Darren Johnstone ventures to Sandown Park with his talented stayer as he inches closer to a tilt at the Group 1 Sandown Cup (715m) which gets underway on May 20.

Before her Sydney campaign the daughter of Fernando Bale had been punishing Free for All fields at home in Queensland but hadn’t been tested at Group level.

But after passing her Sydney test with flying colours, Johnstone has been given the confidence to target further blue riband staying events.

“She’s established herself as a 700 metre bitch and it’s really about keeping her race fitness up which has been a struggle of late,” he said.

“I was going to leave her in Sydney for a week after the Association Cup but there were no 700 metre races and then when I brought her back to Brisbane there weren’t enough nominations for a Free for All either.

“I didn’t want to lose all the residual fitness she’d built up so I made the decision to get in touch with Robbie Britton and sent her down there about a fortnight ago to prepare for Thursday and then the Sandown Cup.”

Maggie Moo Moo meets a familiar foe on Thursday night and is right in the market to run well first up in Victoria.

“She comes up against Floral Lace which Graham and Leanne Hall raced up here in Queensland – she’s been going well down there and we’d been beating her at home so we hope that form stands up,” Johnstone said.

“I don’t know much about the rest of the field but I’ve had a look at the odds and she’s a clear second elect so people have clearly seen what she’s capable of.”

Johnstone says both he and Maggie Moo Moo have taken a lot from the trip away.

“Having the experience of sending her down for the Association Cup has definitely helped the second time around,” he added.

“I knew I wanted to get her a trial at the track which Robbie (Britton) gave her last Wednesday and find a lead in race which she gets tomorrow night.

“The conservative option would have been to leave her at home and go over the 600 in the Listed Carnival Chase but I’d much rather set her a tougher task over her right distance.”

Maggie Moo Moo’s dam Stay Warm struggled to go any further than 400 metres making what she’s achieved even more incredible.

“I’m just that proud of her having bred her and done everything with her to this point. She missed a Group 3 by a length and now she’s headed for one of the most time-honoured staying races on the calendar,” Johnstone said.

“My biggest fear going to Sydney was that she’d be non-competitive and when she dropped out the back by 15 lengths, I was thinking what have I done, but there’s a lot less pressure this time.”

Johnstone is looking forward to some of the country’s pre-eminent stayers having to pack their bags and face Maggie Moo Moo on home soil, with plenty on her plate post Sandown.

“The timing works out well where she won’t miss out on any significant races at home while she’s away,” he said.

“You’ve got the Dashing Corsair, Origin Stayers Super Stayers and obviously the Queensland Cup all in a matter of weeks.”

“It’ll be interesting to see which of the stayers she raced in Sydney and Melbourne make the trip up to her home track Albion Park.”