Paul Murray says a date with the Provincial Championships next year is a possibility for Metallic Moon and jockey Grant Buckley sees no reason why the Kembla trainer shouldn’t have such a high target.
Buckley guided Metallic Moon to back-to-back wins at Kembla Grange on Saturday in a performance which had both trainer and jockey forecasting bigger things in his future.
While Metallic Moon only edged out Gwenda Markwell trained Addicted by a long neck in a Class 1 event (1400m), Buckley was adamant the victory showed that Murray’s gelding could take the next step
"He is a horse going in the right direction,” the provincial hoop said.
"Not many horses put two together straight away and he still has a lot of improvement. He is going the right away."
Murray, who trained the quinella of the Coffs Harbour Cup last week, admitted The Championships were a target.
"We will go through a couple of grades with him,” he said. “We were going to go to Sydney last Saturday but if he goes to Sydney at the moment and wins, he will be just out-weighted.
“We think he will get a mile later. He proved today that he is just going to improve and get a mile.”
Metallic Moon ($3.50) needed the entire Kembla straight to wind up and put his rivals away. Buckley had been caught up on the fence inside Blake Spriggs on Dashley Dubh ($2.30). When clear he rounded up the leaders before holding off a late surge from Addicted ($4). "Blake was probably going better than me at the turn and I had to surrender quite quickly, let him go and then got on his back. When I gathered my horse back up and he finished off quite well,” Buckley said.
Buckley got even more satisfaction from the win as the event was named in his honour as part of the annual jockeys’ celebration day.
”When I left home, my wife [Chantelle] said that is the only race you need to win. I won it, so it's good,” he said.
“I am not sure how many I’ve won [named after myself] but it wouldn’t be many.”
While Peter and Paul Snowden’s Group 1 nominated Conquest failed to fire a shot, Super Ex was impressive snatching his maiden victory for trainer Mark Newnham. The Excites colt edged out Goldolphin’s Catesby by a head as the leading pair put a gap of 5-¼ lengths on Conquest in third.
He is a horse going in the right direction.