Mike Moroney will give Tofane her final lead-up to The Everest in the Gilgai Stakes at Flemington

The search for the perfect preparation led to Melbourne mare Tofane having her final lead-up run before The Everest in Saturday’s Group 2 Gilgai Stakes at Flemington.

Yulong Investments secured Tofane as its representative in The Everest after the five-year-old’s solid first-up third in the Group 2 Bobbie Lewis Quality (1200m) at Flemington on September 12.

Since securing a slot in the $15 million event, trainer Mike Moroney’s focus has been on getting Tofane to Sydney with the same staff member that looked after the mare in the autumn.

Tofane thrived during the Sydney autumn carnival, running third in the Group 1 Galaxy before scoring her maiden Group 1 win in the All Aged Stakes (1400m) in April.

But Melbourne’s COVID-19 crisis and resulting travel restrictions into New South Wales have made the logistics difficult for the trainer, meaning Tofane needed to have her lead-up to The Everest in Melbourne.

“There was the Premiere (Stakes in Sydney) but we’re having a lot of trouble getting a staff member up there,” Moroney said.

“We’ve worked away with NSW on it for the last 10 days but it looks like we’re going to have to send her up with someone else for a while to look after her.

“For that reason, we kept her down here as long as we can.”

Tofane will be back racing right-handed in The Everest at the Randwick Racecourse on October 17. Photo: Matt King/Getty ImagesSource:Getty Images

Moroney said Tofane’s immense breeding value also meant he had to be careful with her transport. He said he eventually found a solution but not his first-choice arrangement.

“You have got to remember she’s worth a lot of money now and I’ve got an obligation to the owners to make sure she’s looked after well because of her value,” Moroney said.

“I didn’t want to send her up there early because it would mean she’d be up there a while (before The Everest). I wanted to send the girl up that looked after her last time when I couldn’t go.

“We’ve got someone up there, the girl that ran my stable up in Sydney will look after her.

“She knows her ways so it’s not as bad but I would still have liked to send the girl that looks after her down here.”

Damien Oliver will ride Tofane in the Gilgai Stakes before Tommy Berry takes over aboard the daughter of Ocean Park in The Everest.

Originally published asLast step up Everest at Flemington

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