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It is an early start to our weekend with a runner - and a big chance at that - in the very first race at Flemington, exciting two-year-old African Pulse topweight in the Trevor Clarke Handicap.

Impressive at his Sandown debut, the well related Johannesburg colt has come on well since and Lisa Cropp again takes the ride - Michael Moroney confident that he will again prove hard to beat.

"We think he is a pretty smart horse in the making," he said, adding that "he is definitely our fastest two-year-old."

"I see no reason why he can't go right on with it on Saturday."

Two of our imported stayers contest Heat 1 of the Banjo Paterson Series - Permit (Lisa Cropp, barrier 13) and Fairfield Flame (Chris Symons, barrier 8).

Having only his second Australian run, Permit battled on quite well first up over 1400m and he will appreciate the drop in distance - although Moroney warns that his European form suggests he will be at his best over even longer trips.

A winner over 2400m and 2800m in France, Permit has however done well since his last run at Caulfield and Moroney feels that the son of Dansili will appreciate the vaster expanses of Flemington.

"It will be interesting to see him on a bigger track," he said.

Hopeful that Fairfield Flame, who has taken longer to come to hand this time in, can improve, Moroney admitted to have been disappointed with her last couple of runs - "she shows glimpses but isn't really finishing off," he said.

"But she is getting fitter and we will be disappointed if she doesn't show something on her home track."

Our final Flemington runner Hiphopopotamus takes his place in the Listed Andrew Ramsden Stakes, being tried over the two miles for the first time.

"He looks like he can run all day," Moroney said, adding that "he is fit and well. He looks a good lightweight chance."

To be ridden by Lisa Cropp and drawn nicely in barrier five, Hiphopopotamus comes into the race on the mininum of 54kg.

Two nice runners at Doomben also - kicking off with King Pulse in the Gr.3 BRC Sprint.

Having his first run since contesting The Galaxy on an unsuitably heavy track, the sparingly raced four-year-old was due to contest the Prime Minister's Cup only to have his preparation set back by an untimely stone bruise.

"It is frustrating," Moroney said, "that we have not been able to have him absolutely hard fit for any of his runs this time in. Whatever he does on Saturday he will improve on but in saying that we have been very happy with the way he has been working."

Moroney has also been very pleased with the progress of Gr.1 Doomben Cup contender Glass Harmonium.

"We could not be happier with him," he enthused. "He has improved and the better track will suit him more than many. With luck in running he should prove very hard to beat."

We have another two runners in Queensland this weekend, another on Saturday being the two-year-old Flashy Fella who makes his Australian debut in the Laurie Kimlin Maiden Plate at the Gold Coast.

"He is a really nice colt," Moroney said of the son of Thorn Park. "He has good form around horses who have gone on with it since so he should prove competitive. The only question mark is that he is a backmarker - but we have added blinkers to his gear and hopefully that will sharpen him up a bit."

Meanwhile Colossus Of Rhodes looks a good chance at the Sunshine Coast on Sunday, the three-year-old having come on well since a debut placing in New Zealand in late April.

"He was very green that day and if he'd raced truer he would've won," Morone said. "He is a really nice type who should prove hard to beat - he just has to get his act together."

[20 May 11]

TUESDAY AT TE AROHA (New Zealand)

TUESDAY AT TE AROHA
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[12 Nov 18] Colorado State is our runner on Monday as we bid to extend the winning streak for the stable.  more...

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