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WINNING CHANCES TO START THE YEAR

Alburq, Our Birdsong and The Admiral are the first runners of 2021 for us when they run at Flemington and Mornington today.

Alburq (pictured) is the first to go at Headquarters in race five, the benchmark 78 handicap over 1200m with Jordan Childs to ride and jumping from barrier six with nine rivals.

It is the second start this preparation for Alburq who finished fourth over 1200m on December 12 and Mike Moroney says the four-year-old has improved for that run.

“His work on Tuesday was terrific and he’s come on a lot for the first-up run,” Moroney said.

“He’s down the straight again, a course he seems to love and the horse is in really good order.

“I’m extremely happy with him and I think he’s a great winning chance - my one little concern is that in a smallish field I’d like a truly run race.

“Ideally he can get some cover for the first half of the race and if he can get that then I think he will be strong at the finish and hard to hold out.”

Our Birdsong runs in race six, the benchmark 70 handicap for fillies and mares over 1400m with Teo Nugent aboard and drawn barrier 11.

The Snitzel four-year-old is racing well in similar company and Moroney is anticipating another competitive performance today.

“She’s getting pretty deep into the preparation but I’m happy with her,” Moroney said.

“The draw hasn’t helped her as she’s a mare that races best on speed and looking at the form there does look to be some speed in the race today.

“Ideally she can get across without having to do too much - she’s nice and fit but it looks a typically competitive mares race so she will need a bit of luck. If she can get a trouble free run then I’m sure she will run well.”

The Admiral is the first to go in race two at Mornington, the 3YO Maiden Plate over 1500m with Jack Hill aboard.

The Admiral tired in the home straight when resuming over 1400m at Sandown but Moroney says is fitter for today’s race.

“He’s struck a handy looking race with some interesting unraced sorts,” Moroney said.

“I think it was lack of fitness that told against him first-up and he’ll present a lot fitter today.

“He’s still learning a bit but I will de disappointed if he does not run well today and be better for the experience.”
[01 Jan 21]

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