MCGRUDDY KEEN TO CONTINUE SUCCESSFUL ASSOCIATION WITH MAROCCHINO

9
Dec

Jockey Shaun McGruddy is keen to continue his successful association with Marocchino and complete a feature race double at Ascot on Saturday.

McGruddy answered the call to ride Marocchino in last fortnight’s JRA Trophy (2100m) and he’s hoping for a repeat victory in the G.A.Towton Cup (2200m).

The Lou Luciani-trained Marocchino pulled away at the top of the straight in the JRA Trophy after McGruddy had stalked the leader for most of the race.

Marocchino defeated Bad Wolf by half a length with the fast-finishing backmarkers Stafford’s Lad and favourite Midnight Blue running third and fourth respectively.

“It was a great win the other day and he is a nice stayer,” McGruddy said.

“He has a nice big stride and can put himself into a race.

‘I’m happy to stick with him and Lou’s (Luciani) stable is in good form.

“I’m pretty excited that he can continue on.

“From the draw I imagine I will be in the first two in running again.

“My big concern is Midnight Blue, who was picking up ground last-start.

“If there is going to be one horse that goes past us, I wouldn’t be surprised if its Midnight Blue.”

Marocchino has drawn barrier five and is $8 in current Tabtouch markets.

Midnight Blue and Pure Devotion, from the Grant and Alana Williams team, share $3.20 favouritism.

Meanwhile McGruddy says he has cause for optimism that Beads can go one better in the Glenroy Chaff Handicap (1000m) after a close loss.

The Steve Wolfe-trained gelding was cut down by The Front Bar last start after he challenged for the lead over the concluding stages.

“I can’t believe he got beaten,” McGruddy said.

“I thought he was home, but The Front Bar was huge.

“But after two runs back, Beads will be spot on.”

Beads holds $2.50 favouritism. He has drawn barrier two.

McGruddy also says Wuhan Warrior, Mr Mt Walker, The Great One, Jedi Mind and Bragwell are each way chances in their respective races.

Julio Santarelli