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Loyalty Man to run at Flemington

Villiers Stakes plans have been shelved for Loyalty Man with trainer Mike Moroney deciding to keep the gelding in Melbourne for what he believes is a winnable race.

Loyalty Man was an acceptor in three races on Saturday with two of those at Randwick, including the Group Two Villiers, and one at Flemington.

The last-start Wodonga Cup winner came up with the outside barrier in the field of 18 for the $250,000 Villiers Stakes (1600m) and was scratched on Wednesday.

The four-year-old was also withdrawn from a benchmark-85 over 1600m at Randwick, with connections preferring to remain at Flemington to run in the Chanteclair Handicap (1600m).

Moroney said a combination of the outside barrier in the Villiers and also the weather forecast for rain in the coming days put paid to any Sydney plans.

“It was a combination of both, and also we’ve got another race we can run him in in Sydney in a couple of weeks,” Moroney said.

“This race in Melbourne looks a pretty winnable race.”

Moroney had been looking at the Sydney options because he is keen for Loyalty Man to race in the clockwise direction ahead of a planned trip to the Gold Coast for the $1 million Magic Millions Cup (1400m) on January 14.

Queensland and NSW both race in the clockwise direction, while Loyalty Man has done all his racing the opposite way in Victoria.

“We’ve still got another option of going up there a fortnight later and still getting a right-handed run in before the Magic Millions,” Moroney said.

Patrick Moloney will continue his association with Loyalty Man who has drawn well in barrier two in the field of 11.

Loyalty Man is on the fourth line of betting at $6 in an early market with last-start winner Mihany at $3.40 ahead of the Darren Weir-trained Burning Front ($4.80) and Kenjorwood ($5).

Kenjorwood also holds an entry in The Villiers.

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