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Moroney lands a Cup horse
Mike Hedge
17:35 AEST Mon Oct 21 2013

A little over 12 months ago trainer Mike Moroney and his brother Paul believed they had pulled off what would have been a decent coup.

The Moroneys and their owners had sniffed out a handy English stayer, their offer in the vicinity of seven figures had been accepted and all that was required was a vet check and the horse was theirs.

But they didn't count on Gai Waterhouse.

The horse was Fiorente, the runner-up in last year's Melbourne Cup, the favourite for this year's and one of the top chances in Saturday's Cox Plate.

"We thought we had him bought," Moroney said.

"Everything was set and we sent our vet to examine him and they told him he couldn't because the horse had been sold to someone else."

The "someone else" was Waterhouse who has since developed Fiorente into one the best racehorses in Australia.

For Moroney, the disappointment is all a part of racing and he and his brother quickly moved on to a target it took 12 months to nail - but which is now in Melbourne preparing to challenge the horse they thought they had.

Voleuse De Coeurs had won two average races in Ireland when the Moroneys became aware of him.

He has now won five, the latest a six length victory in the time-honoured Melbourne Cup lead-up, the Irish St Leger.

The added advantage for the horse's new owners is that the mare's preparation up till now was performed by legendary Irish trainer and two-time Melbourne Cup winner Dermot Weld.

Mike Moroney had his first look at Voleuse De Coeurs at the Werribee International Horse Centre on Monday.

The five-year-old barely got out of a trot, but her new trainer was clearly satisfied with his new horse.

"I think you'll find she's a very good buy," he said.

"She's settled in very well, she was a bit nervy on the flight apparently, but now she's fine.

Moroney is hoping the recovery continues and he can get a couple of gallops into Voleuse De Coeurs before Cup day.

"If she gets to the race you can be sure she'll be in good order," he said.

"We know a bit about her, we've been watching her for the past year.

"All we needed to see was that she could do it on top of the ground, and she did that in the St Leger."

Voleuse De Coeurs is one of 11 horses that arrived from England on Saturday and brings the number of internationals stabled at Werribee to 21.