Mike Moroney is hoping rising star Shelby Cobra can answer one burning question when he bids to extend his winning streak at Ballarat.
Moroney is in two-minds about whether the three-year-old is purely a sprinter or if he will be even better extended to a mile.
Shelby Cobra is a $1.40 favourite with TAB fixed odds to win the $175,000 VOBIS Gold Eureka Stockade (1400m) on Saturday and Moroney is hoping for a definitive answer so he can plan next year’s campaign.
“One thing is for sure, he has any amount of ability,” Moroney said.
“He has a turn of foot only good horses have but I haven’t quite worked out what his best distance is.”
Moroney said Shelby Cobra’s win in the The Amanda Elliott over 1400 metres against his own age on the final day of the Flemington carnival left him even more confused.
Conflicting opinions from two top jockeys who have ridden the gelding are adding to his dilemma.
“I thought he was bit fizzy in the run and Ben Melham rode him and said that as well, which leads me back to thinking he’s a 1200 metre to a 1400 metre horse, which is what Ben thought,” Moroney said.
However, Moroney points out that Mark Zahra, who rode Shelby Cobra at his first two starts and is back on again on Saturday, has a different view of the Toronado gelding.
“After his first start at Moonee Valley, Mark said he felt like a 1400 metre horse to a miler and I didn’t agree,” Moroney said.
“I came around though when he won on him at Sale on a heavy track but after Flemington, I’m not so sure.
“Hopefully we’ll know a bit more after Saturday and can work out an autumn program for him.
“We’re still on a learning curve with him. If he can relax then we’ll plan around 1400 metres and further.”
Shelby Cobra will have six rivals and jumps from barrier four.