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Cranbourne Double

Cranbourne's two day Cup fixture was a good one for us - the stable cheering home winners on Friday night and Sunday; Courageous Rock and Trendsetter horses on the up and worth following!

Having only his second run for the campaign, the imported Courageous Rock (pictured) relished a step up to the 1600m on Friday evening and what a great job he and Jake Noonan did from a wide gate.

Enjoying a lovely run in fourth place not far from the leaders, the lightly raced five-year-old loomed up three wide approaching the turn, hitting the lead straightening and racing clear to salute by a soft 2 1/4 lengths.

"The stable told me to ride him like the best horse in the race," Jake Noonan reported, "and the good speed in the race enabled me to slot in and we had a good run."

Describing Courageous Rock as a horse on the up, Noonan said that "he is a better horse in this, his second local preparation and I think he will go right on with it now."

Michael Moroney agreed.

"He is a horse we have always liked. He has just taken a little while to acclimatize but he is a nice stayer in the making."

Purchased by Paul at the 2012 Tattersalls October Yearling Sale at Newmarket, the son of Rock Hard Ten is one of two of a group of horses bought that year who are now in Australia, the talented Extra Noble the other.

By a dual Group One winner who was at his best from 1400m to 2000m, Courageous Rock is a half-brother to the US stakes winners Duff and Bold Curlin out of the stakes placed Ascot Knight mare To The Brim.

Our second Cranbourne winner meanwhile is a New Zealand bred - Trendsetter by Keeper purchased at Karaka in 2012.

A horse who has "always shown ability," Trendsetter has had his share of problems - a lot of them in fact, Moroney noting that "everything that can go wrong with a horse has!"

"But he has patient owners and hopefully they will now be rewarded."

"Sunday was the first time we have been able to have him right up to his right sort of distance and he showed what he is capable of."

Taking an early lead, the five-year-old at just his 11th start was pressured by the second horse for a while but he quickly shook that rival off before the turn and away he went - his winning margin an outstanding seven lengths!

"I was rapt when we got to the lead as we were able to control the race," jockey Daniel Moor said.

"We ramped it up from the 600m and he put a space on them."

Moor was most impressed by Trendsetter, describing him as "a big baby who is still learning."

"The way he switches off during his races I think he can measure up in better company," he said.

Hopefully our winning run continues this week with the promising three-year-old War Legend heading to Caulfield on Wednesday, due to take his place in the opening event.

Drawn a little bit awkwardly - six in a field of seven - War Legend does however have the services of Craig Newitt and Moroney is looking forward to seeing the son of Rip Van Winkle up to 1600m.

"We really like this horse and he is just starting to learn what it is all about."

"He is not too far off our better three-year-olds and when he learns to relax he will be a very nice horse."

We also have two competing at Warwick Farm on Wednesday, kicking off with Sound Works who was so good - but so unlucky - at her Kembla Grange debut late last month.

On that occasion getting back and running into dead-ends before only just missing a placing, the daughter of Not A Single Doubt has pleased us since.

"She probably should have won her first start," said Moroney. "She just got into an awkward spot."

"The only question mark this time is if the 1100m is long enough for her but she has drawn well and she has the talent to win."

Meanwhile we are awaiting some rain for Nordic Duke who takes on just six others in the 2200m handicap.

"It's a nice race for him, he just needs the weather to change."

[12 Oct 15]

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