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Nordic Duke salutes - and we saddle up three nice chances at Caulfield

A horse always highly regarded by the stable, Nordic Duke looked good breaking his maiden in easy fashion at Bendigo on Thursday.

Still a bit green, the three-year-old who put on display his natural talent when stakes placed at Flemington back in April, did a bit wrong but was able to really sprint clear over the final stages – saluting by 1½ lengths.

“He still has a tendency to duck in,” jockey Craig Newitt said, adding that he still has plenty of scope for improvement – “he has a promising future as a stayer.”

“He won really well,” added Michael Moroney. “We have always considered him a Derby type horse but he had not really progressed as well as we’d hoped between two and three.”

“But if he comes through this race we will progress with him – the further he gets the better he will be.”

A $77,500 Karaka purchase for Paul Moroney, Nordic Duke (bred by Sir Patrick & Lady Hogan and raced by Ballymore Stables, Lorne Bloodstock, Noel Griffin, Manfred Krauser, Neville Scurrell, Peter Reynolds, Peter Walker, Rupert & Cheryl Legh Racing, Gurners Bloodstock and CWL Racing) is by the royally related Gr.1 winner Viking Ruler.

Boasting an intriguing pedigree, he hails from the same family as his sire – Viking Ruler and his dam both descendants of the legendary Eight Carat.

Hopefully there is more success to come for the stable this weekend with three nice horses to take their place at Caulfield on Saturday.

First up is import Don Carlos who lines up in the third event, the Sportingbet Handicap over 1700m.

Running nicely first up in the Gr.2 Makybe Diva Stakes, the five-year-old will appreciate a drop in class and slight rise in distance.

“He is not quite up to his right trip yet,” Moroney said, noting that Don Carlos’ best UK form was around 2000m – “but he is quite a sharp Galileo, not an out-and-out staying type. He has to rate a chance on Saturday.”

Nicely drawn in barrier six, Don Carlos will be ridden by Kerrin McEvoy.

As will Platinum Passion (pictured) who is third up over 2000m in the fourth race, the Perri Cutten Plate.

“We were a little bit disappointed in her last start,” Moroney conceded, “but in saying that she had a tough run in a strong weight-for-age race, things just didn’t go her way.”

“She has drawn awkwardly again (15) but we will ride her back of the pace. She has been going particularly well in her track work so an improved showing would not surprise.”

Shylock’s Daughter has unfortunately also drawn poorly (16) in the final event, the Programmed Property Services Handicap but she ran nicely last time out and Lisa Cropp is back aboard.

“Lisa knows her well and the mare goes well for her,” Moroney said, adding that this would most likely be the seven-year-old’s last run this preparation.

Just the one runner for Ballymore on Sunday, stayer Linton Street contesting the 2200m Showcase at Bairnsdale – looking very well placed from barrier two with Lisa Cropp aboard.

“We were very much encouraged by his last run,” Moroney said – pointing to Linton Street’s game and somewhat unlucky 2.4 length fifth at Sandown – “and he has really trained on well since.”

In other stable news, Glass Harmonium pulled up well from his game Underwood Stakes fourth and on Monday will work away from home – due “to take his first look at Moonee Valley.”

Brazilian Pulse meanwhile heads to the paddock, a few niggling problems throughout her preparation setting her back.

“There is no one thing we can put our finger on but there have been a combination of small things that she hasn’t coped well with and she has lightened off. We will give her a break and look towards the autumn with her.”


[22 Sep 11]

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