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Monaco a must to follow

Reigning VRC Derby champ Monaco Consul continues his spring campaign at Flemington on Saturday, having progressed nicely since an encouraging first up performance in the Liston Stakes.
Whilst still racing short of his best trip, the four-year-old has impressed the stable with both his track work and his attitude this week.
"He seems to have turned the corner," Michael Moroney enthused, "he has become more switched on as a racehorse."
Galloping in strong style on Tuesday morning, Monaco Consul impressed - "he worked as well as I have ever seen him work," Moroney said - "he has trained on really well."
Drawn nicely in barrier three in the Gr.2 Makybe Diva Stakes, Monaco Consul will again be ridden by Craig Williams.
Another horse heading towards the big spring cups is imported mare Fairfield Flame who ran so nicely at her Australian debut.
“The concern is a testing heavy track at the end of the day,” said Moroney, “and she is better over longer trips. This is a step up for her from mares class but she did run really well first up and she has trained on.”
Fairfield Flame has secured a run as emergency in the final race, the Spring Is The Season Handicap over 1700m.
A horse who will appreciate the conditions is Mr Baritone who lines up in The Sofitel over 1400m.
“His latest run was out of character,” Moroney said, referring to the nine-year-old’s latest unplaced outing at Caulfield, “but he was three and four wide for the trip. We were only going to run him this Saturday if he drew a decent gate and he has (seven). We can’t fault his work.”
Taking his place in the same race is Syndrome who is having his first run since February. Boasting a handy fresh record, he has been shaping well this time in.
“This looks a nice race for him,” Moroney said. “It is a bit stronger than what he has been up against in the past but he is well drawn and he is quite forward – we expect him to run a cheeky race.”
Earlier in the day Missing In Action makes his Australian debut in the Henry Bucks Best Dressed Stakes over 1400m.
Displaying promise during his first couple of runs in New Zealand, he is likely to improve over a longer trip but he has been showing a liking for rain affected tracks.
“If it gets to heavy and a few of the others don’t handle it he will get his chance,” Moroney said. “He is a nice stayer in the making and we will give him his chance to get to the VRC Derby.”
[03 Sep 10]


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