He’s the longest shot in the 10-horse Aurie’s Star Handicap (1200m) field, but Yesterday’s Songs is going as well as he ever has leading into the Group 3 sprint, according to trainer Mike Moroney.
The seven-year-old son of Henrythenavigator has not banked a win since triumphing in the Listed Wangoom Handicap in 2016, and was beaten 4.6 lengths by Ulmann in the same race this year.
His best run this prep was arguably in the Listed Straight Six (1200m) at Flemington when beaten less than a length by Tashbeeh, and it is the same track/trip he will attempt to conquer again on Saturday – albeit up against Group 1 winners Hey Doc and I Am A Star.
Despite coming up the $18 complete outsider with CrownBet, Moroney said his charge is feeling much better within himself after a long spell following his spring campaign last year, and has had a four-week freshen up for Saturday’s assignment.
“This campaign, he’s going terrific. The campaign before that, we couldn’t steer him,” Moroney said at Flemington on Friday morning.
“He was lugging in one day, lugging out the next, and cost himself a couple of races.
“But he’s going straight as a die now, that long break, his feet are a long way better, he’s going terrific.”
Yesterday’s Songs, who counts the likes of Rupert Legh and Bruce Mathieson among his owners, had a couple of trips away over the winter, running fifth in a Group 2 sprint at Doomben, beaten under three lengths.
Moroney conceded the Aurie’s Star is a tough race for him, but the horse himself could not be feeling better.
“[He’s] just a happier horse … obviously things were wrong with him [last preparation],” he added.
“He was doing it all wrong, we couldn’t work out why. We knew he was having feet issues, but he was racing as if it wasn’t only just that.
“So I know he’s got the job in front of him, it’s a strong race, he’d have to be at his level-best, but he’s going well, and I think this campaign he’s raced as good as ever.
“He hasn’t got any gate speed, so I hope it’s not a sit-and-sprint, which it can be 1200m down the straight. So if they run along true, then it’ll suit him.”
Meanwhile, Saracino had his first jumpout for Moroney on Friday, having made the switch from the NZ stable of Murray Baker.
The two-time Group 2 winner, including the Danehill Stakes and Wellington Guineas, still has some conditioning work to do before a likely race return at Caulfield in three weeks’ time.
“I said to Mark [Zahra] not to move a muscle on him. And he flew the gates and got there, he raced a bit fresh. But he feels good; he didn’t put him under much pressure,” Moroney said of the Per Incanto entire’s jumpout.
“He’s a stallion now, but temperament-wise he’s really good to deal with.
“He does look a little bit on the big side, but that should help him a lot that trial, and we’ll give him one more before he heads off to the races.”
WATCH: Saracino’s jumpout (pink, grey diamonds)