Neasham excited to have Mo’unga back at the races

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Trainer Annabel Neasham is looking forward to stepping out Group One winner Mo'unga in the Group 2 Stakes (1600m) at  on Saturday, where she is expecting to see an improved run from the entire.

The son of Savabeel put in an uncustomary subpar run in the  Winx Stakes (1400m) first-up, but Neasham said the five-year-old was a victim of circumstance.

“He got too far back and I don't think Tommy (Berry, jockey) got out and rolling on him early enough,” Neasham told RSN.

“He didn't really get the chance to because he was boxed in, so I think it was a forgive run.

“He has always needed to build up his revs from the 500m and even from the 600m.

“As long as he can get that room, I think we will see him bounce back this weekend. I am excited to get him back to the races again.”

Purchased for $325,000 out of Waikato Stud's 2019 New Zealand Bloodstock Book 1 Yearling Sale draft by Aquis Farm, Mo'unga has won five of his 17 starts, including the Group 1  Guineas (2000m), Group 1 Winx Stakes (1400m), and Listed Stakes (1500m).

He has placed on five occasions, including the Group 1 Futurity Stakes (1400m), Group 1 Mackinnon Stakes (2000m), Group 1  (1600m), Group 1  (1600m), and Group 3 CS Hayes Stakes (1400m).

On the undercard, Neasham is looking forward to lining up fellow New Zealand-bred Regal Lion for the first time.

Formerly trained in New Zealand by Murray Baker and , Regal Lion placed in the Group 1 New Zealand Derby (2400m) behind Asterix and , before heading to Australia where he was runner-up in the Group 2 Tulloch Stakes (1850m).

A majority interest in the son of Jakkalberry was purchased by , with breeders Barbara and Carl McComb remaining in the ownership.

He has had two trials for Neasham in Sydney and she is looking forward to the gelding resuming over 1600m this weekend.

“He is pretty fit and quite forward,” Neasham said.

“He is going to need further of course but I think it is a nice starting point for him.

“He is a beautiful horse. We gave him a nice break and have taken our time with him.

“He is certainly an exciting stayer in the making.”

Regal Lion was set to compete against compatriot Lightning Jack, however, Neasham has elected to head to Melbourne with the gelding where he will run over 2040m at The Valley on Saturday.

“Lightning Jack drew the carpark in Sydney so I am keen to see him up to 2000m. He is a really honest horse and is never far away from them,” Neasham said.

“It will be his first time going left-handed since being in New Zealand, hopefully that might help him as well.”

Meanwhile, Hasabro will make his debut for Neasham in the Listed Tattersall's Members Cup (1350m) at Doomben on Saturday.

The son of Savabeel won eight races in New Zealand for Go Racing, including the Group 3 White Robe Lodge Stakes (1600m) and Listed Hazlett Stakes (1200m).

“He is a lovely horse,” Neasham said. “He is obviously an older horse and has got plenty of form on the board.

“He seems to be coming up really well, he has trialled well and will get better over a bit further.

“I wouldn't be surprised to see a forward showing on Saturday.”

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