Mike Moroney is looking to Chapada to step up sharply in grade at Caulfield on his way to the Derby.
Lightly raced Chapada gets the chance to stamp himself a genuine Victoria Derby contender in the Caulfield Classic after overcoming an interrupted preparation to break his maiden at Wangaratta.
The Mike Moroney-trained gelding spaced his rivals by five lengths in a 1590m-maiden on October 4 at his third career start having gone into the Wangaratta race with five weeks between runs after a setback.
On Saturday Chapada steps up in class in the Group Three Caulfield Classic (2000m) for three-year-olds, an important Victoria Derby lead-up race.
“He’s going to have to step up a few grades from a Wangaratta maiden win but he was impressive there and there are reasons why he could improve a lot,” Moroney said.
“He had missed a fair bit of work and we had to scurry to get him to Wangaratta. He had a week where we could only swim him because he had a stone bruise that just wouldn’t come out.
“So he did a really good job to get to Wangaratta and win the way he did and there should be a lot of improvement in him.
“But we’re well aware that he’s taking on the A-grade three-year-olds at that distance.
“We’re quietly confident he’s got real ability, so it will be interesting.”
Chapada was at $9.50 on Friday for the Caulfield Classic with the in-form Darren Weir-trained Extra Brut the $2.70 favourite after his strong win in the Listed UCI Stakes (1800m) last start.
The Gai Waterhouse and Adrian Bott-trained Thinkin’ Big was at $3.80 while UCI Stakes runner-up Sikorsky was at $6.50.
Chapada finished alongside Sikorsky in a Geelong maiden at his second start last month when they ran fifth and sixth respectively.
Moroney has won two Victoria Derbys with Second Coming and Monaco Consul and says Chapada appears to be a natural staying type.