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Last winner for 2015

"I rode him like he was the best stayer in the race," said Jake Noonan after a daring and clever ride on Margin Trader in the 2100m contest at Echuca on New Year's Eve.

Originally settling fifth along the rails having done a bit of early work from a tricky gate in the small field, Margin Trader sustained a long run - one which saw him take the lead 1100m from home.

Pressured and joined at the 600m, Margin Trader had shaken off his rival approaching the turn, giving a kick into the straight and holding on gamely as the favourite The Narcissist chased in vain.

"He has been a tricky horse in regards to figuring out how he is best ridden," Noonan said, noting that the son of Tavistock has been ridden more coldly - but "not really attacking the line."

Inclined at times to get onto the bit, Margin Trader has taken a bit of working out.

"Full credit to Michael," Noonan said - "he has put the work into him and taught him to really switch off."

Noonan was pleased in the way the race was run and how Margin Trader travelled.

"They slowed up mid-race and I took off around them and just kept building."

Still lightly raced with plenty of upside, Margin Trader is a horse who can measure up in something better - "I can see him progressing through the grades up to midweek and Saturday city company at this time of year," Noonan said.

Raced by a big group headed by Ballymore Stables Australia, Margin Trader has always shown good staying promise, enough to warrant a run in the New Zealand Derby in which he finished seventh to Caulfield Cup hero Mongolian Khan.

Bred on the same Tavistock/Zabeel cross as the VRC Derby winner Tarzino, Margin Trader is out of Power And Might who is named after her close relation, the champion Might And Power.

Having seen out 2015 with a winner we are hoping that we can kick 2016 off with another, Trendsetter looking a big chance in one of Friday's features, the Listed Bagot Handicap at Flemington.

To be ridden by Glen Boss, the son of Keeper caught the eye with a strong late finish after missing the start at Sandown last night out, doing a bit wrong in the run home.

"If he gone straight he may have run second," Michael Moroney said - "and if
had not blown the start he may've even won."

"He is going really well and he is suited by the step up from 2400m to 2800m.

[31 Dec 15]

GROB TO RIDE IN NZ (New Zealand)

GROB TO RIDE IN NZ
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