Moon rises to the occasion in Manion Cup

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Kerrin McEvoy walked away from his first ride on Favorite Moon with sore legs but he had no such dramas after the English visitor’s stunning win in the N E Manion Cup.

The top jockey recently tested the William Haggas-trained stayer in a trackwork gallop and the horse was so relaxed, McEvoy found himself working overtime.

“I rode him the other morning and I had sore legs after riding him, he never took me a yard the other morning,” McEvoy said.

“It was nice to get him into a good spot today from the gate, he was able to step well and travel smoothly. I was happy when they went a bit quicker and the horse did the rest.”

With just 50kg in the Sydney Cup, connections of Favorite Moon will be sweating on him attracting a weight penalty for Saturday’s win to help force his way into the Group One field.

Favorite Moon (+550) travelled sweetly behind the speed, set by eventual fourth placegetter Hush Writer (+1400), and McEvoy angled him off the fence in the straight to give chase.

He hit the front and fended off the late challenge of Realm Of Flowers (+750) by a neck with another one-and-three-quarter lengths to Sacramento (+400 fav).

Isabella Paul, representing the Haggas stable, said Favorite Moon had thrived in Australia and should be even better over the 3200m of the Sydney Cup.

“I think he’s really coming into his own down here, the kind of one-on-one attention and everything has really suited him,” Paul said.

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