Trainer Adam Durrant is confident his star galloper Mr Moet can match race favourite Mawingo in their much-anticipated clash in today's Group 2 Peter Young Stakes at Caulfield.
Railway Stakes winner Mr Moet and Mawingo finished alongside each other when third and second respectively behind star colt All Too Hard in the CF Orr Stakes (1400m) a fortnight ago.
Despite Mr Moet's eye-catching performance, bookmakers around Australia have Mawingo favourite for the Peter Young Stakes (1800m).
Punters yesterday continued to back Mawingo, who firmed to $2.75 with Player. Mr Moet eased to $3.20.
Durrant said Mr Moet had improved after the Orr Stakes and he expected a top-two finish.
"I'm happy with him and he's going along good," Durrant said.
"His first-up run was excellent and he's in really good order.
"There isn't a lot of speed on paper but generally the bigger races with quality horses are run at a decent pace. Mawingo and my bloke should fight out the finish. They are the class horses of the race.
"We're going in confident he can win. It's not his grand final either way but it would be a nice added bonus to win this."
Durrant said Mr Moet's poor second-up record of one placing from five attempts was deceiving.
"He hasn't had any luck second-up and should have won at least three of them," he said.
Jockey Daniel Staeck will ride Mr Moet, who will jump from barrier four in the field of eight.
Mr Moet is being aimed at the Group 1 $1 million Australian Cup (2000m) at Flemington on March 9.
He also could head to Sydney, with Durrant considering a tilt at the Group 1 Ranvet Stakes (2000m) and Group 1 $2.5 million BMW (2400m), both at Rosehill, on March 23 and April 6.
Durrant's classy mare Mabel Grace could join Mr Moet in Sydney for fillies' and mares' features.
Mabel Grace, a last-start winner of the La Trice Classic (1800m) on New Year's Day, will race in today's $80,000 Pink Hygiene Cyril Flower Stakes (1200m) at Ascot.
"If she gets through the race OK, she can jump on a plane and run in a few mares' races in Sydney," Durrant said.
·Yarradale Stud's well-related sire Musket had his first winner at Newcastle on Thursday.
Two-year-old Rutherglen opened Musket's account in style when he scored by three lengths, setting a class record over 1300m.
The first WA-bred yearlings of Musket, a three-quarter brother to Makybe Diva, sold at the Magic Millions Perth sale on Tuesday and Wednesday.
"His first-up run was excellent and he's in really good order."" Mr Moet's trainer *Adam Durrant *