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A BUSY DAY FOR US AT THE VALLEY ON SATURDAY

A busy day for the team with four runners at The Valley including Mr Marathon Man in the feature race.

Mr Marathon Man (pictured) runs in the Group 2 Feehan Stakes over 1600m with Damien Oliver riding from barrier two.

The import resumed with a solid fifth in the Group II P B Lawrence Stakes and has pleased Mike Moroney since.

“We took him to the Valley on Tuesday for a gallop and I thought he went nicely - Damien rode him and was happy,” Moroney said.

“It was more for him to get a feel of the course as he can be a bit quirky.

“Ideally there will be some rain to ease the ground but he’s going really well and is coming in off a good first-up run.

“That form should be good enough for this race and he’ll be better suited over the mile. If he can relax and be closer to the speed than I do think he can run a big race.”

Tofane runs in race four, the Fillies and Mares Benchmark 84 Handicap with Michael Dee in the saddle from barrier five.

The daughter of Tavistock was slightly disappointing first-up when only fourth at Sandown however, Moroney said there were extenuating circumstances.

“They went very fast then slowed up which didn’t suit - she was probably half a run short as well,” Moroney said.

“She galloped particularly well at the Valley on Tuesday and has pulled up in great order. She’s still shifting her winter coat but is coming along nicely.

“Provided she copes with the track under race pressure then I’m expecting her to run a big race.”

Strike Force and Top Of The Range both run in the last race, the Open Handicap over 1600m with Michael Poy reducing Strike Force’s weight to 52kg and Michael Dee aboard Top Of The Range.

Strike Force was beaten less than two lengths last time out when fourth over 1519m at Moonee Valley and from barrier three today Moroney is expecting another bold run.

“He’s done really well since and the key will be the start,” Moroney said. “He can be a bit tardy away but if he can break on terms and take advantage of the barrier then that will make a big difference.

“He gets in well at the weights but it’s a stronger race than last start. He looks terrific and if he can land on the speed then I do think he will run well.”

Top Of The Range is resuming after running the Sydney and Adelaide Cups at his last two starts.

“I’m really happy with the way he looks,” Moroney said. “He looks stronger and he comes into the race in great order.

“Obviously he should find this a bit short for him but the way he looks and is training then I will not be at all surprised to see him run a cheeky race, particularly if they run along in front.”

[07 Sep 19]

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