Hang Man back in distance in Ballarat CupTuesday 19 November 2019
Despite Hang Man's recent Group Three placing in the Bendigo Cup, trainer Mike Moroney believes his performance indicated the gelding is better suited over a slightly shorter distance.
With that in mind, Hang Man drops back from 2400m to 2000m in Saturday's $500,000 Listed Ballarat Cup and is one of two nominations in the race from the Moroney stable.
While Hang Man is 16th in the ballot and assured a spot in the Cup which has a field limit of 16 plus four emergencies, stablemate Gundown is 19th.
Moroney plans to run both should Gundown make the field.
"They are both going really well. I can't fault either one of them," Moroney said.
Hang Man won the Benalla Cup over 2000m three starts ago before finishing fifth in the Group Two Herbert Power Stakes (2400m) at Caulfield and third in the Bendigo Cup.
Jockey Kerrin McEvoy said after the Herbert Power, Hang Man raced like he did not run the trip out and Moroney said jockey James Winks had a similar report after the Bendigo Cup.
Hang Man was beaten just over a length by stablemate Top Of The Range and the Chris Waller-trained Brimham Rocks at Bendigo.
"He (Winks) just said he gets 2400 but he's not as effective," Moroney said.
"He said he went to win and said he just doesn't quite see the last bit of it out 100 per cent.
"We're not saying that he doesn't get 2400 but I've got a funny feeling his best distance is between 2000 and 2200 metres.
"Even though he has won over 2400 metres he has looked better at the shorter trips.
"We could have gone to the race Chapada ran third in last Saturday (Zipping Classic) but we decided to wait for this and drop back to 2000 metres."
Former New Zealander Gundown is in his first Australian preparation for Moroney.
He won the Moe Cup (2050m) on a heavy track two starts ago and Moroney felt he did not get the best of runs when fourth in the Kyneton Cup (2000m) last start.
"He's trained on really well and I would expect that track to suit him," he said.