Good call by Moore to take Mighty High to Melbourne
John Moore certainly pulled the right rein in taking Mighty High to Melbourne this Australian spring, with the stayer not only ending up the top weight in the A$2.5 million (HK$19.24 million) Caulfield Cup on Saturday but one of the strongest chances.
Winning Caulfield Cups with the 126 pounds he has to carry is no easy task - only five horses have been able to do it in the last 40 years of the history of one of Australia's great Group One handicap events and the highest allotment carried to victory in that time was 128 pounds.
That presents a slightly false picture, as this year's weights have been raised five pounds to meet the race's minimum top-weight rule, which also shows the usual quality is missing from the race.
The overarching presence there of world champion sprinter Black Caviar has masked the lack of real talent among the best older horses in Australia, and if there was a year to go to a race of such value with the top weight and think you're a chance, then this is it.
Well played, John Moore (pictured), who will also be hoping that dearth of star material will help Silver Grecian in his quest for a good prize. Still, even with three-year-old Helmet emerging as favourite to beat the older horses in the Cox Plate at Moonee Valley on Saturday week, Moore must still be wishing he had been able to convince Xtension's owner to go to Melbourne for that race.
If Helmet doesn't run out the 2,040m of the Cox Plate and joins a long list of star three-year-olds beaten in the race over the years, then that event might have been within Moore's grasp, too.