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Moroney rules out Villiers for Loyalty Man

Villiers Stakes plans have been shelved for Loyalty Man with trainer Mike Moroney to decide whether to send the gelding to Sydney for a lesser race at Randwick or keep him in Melbourne.

Loyalty Man is an acceptor in three races on Saturday, two at Randwick and one at Flemington.

The last-start Wodonga Cup winner came up with the outside barrier in the field of 18 for the Group Two Villiers (1600m).

He is also in a benchmark-85 over the same distance at Randwick and a 1600m-handicap on his home track at Flemington.

“We won’t run in the Villiers,” Moroney said on Wednesday.

“It’s just a matter of whether we go up for the other race or stay back at Flemington.

“We’re just keeping an eye on the weather. If they get the rain they’re predicting we probably won’t go up and we’ll just stay down here.”

Moroney said the float was due to leave on Thursday night so they had until then to make a call.

Moroney has looked 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.

He said Loyalty Man had done a lot of work right-handed and seemed to handle it well.

Apprentice Andrew Adkins will ride Loyalty Man if he starts in the Ainsworth Game Technology Handicap at Randwick.

Patrick Moloney will continue his association with Loyalty Man if he runs in the Chanteclair Handicap at Flemington.

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