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DERBY DAY GROUP RUNNERS

Mike Moroney is looking forward to see star mare Tofane tackle the Flemington mile in today’s Group 1 Empire Rose Stakes.

Mike says confirmed the daughter of Ocean Park has trained on beautifully since her narrow defeat last start in the Group 1 Toorak Handicap at Caulfield.

“It looks ideal for her weight-wise, she’s drawn well in barrier two, trained on really well and it’s certainly been a race that we have been waiting for with her,” Mike said.

“In the Toorak she got a bit held up with her weight, but still went terrific, she sprinted through and if she would’ve the equalled the weight-carrying record for a mare had she won.

“I could not be happier with and I fully expect her to be hard to beat.”

Today Tofane (pictured) will carry 57kgs in the weight-for-age handicap for mares and is to be partnered by Craig Williams.

“We will need some luck in running but it’s a different track to Caulfield and you tend to get a run at Flemington most of the time with the longer run in,” Mike said.

Emissary and Buffalo River are the stable’s other two runners today, Emissary the first to go in the Hotham Stakes over 2500 metres with Glen Boss in the saddle.

Emissary looks ready to run well at his fourth Australian start in the Group 3 Hotham Stakes over 2500m and Mike is keen to see the import secure clear running in the small field.

“I thought his last run was more than acceptable under the circumstances and he's improving all the time,” Mike said.

“He got held up behind tiring horses at the worst stage of the race and lost valuable momentum and the small field today I’m hoping that will not be an issue.

“He’s trained on well, gets a nice drop in weight and I can see him running a good race, albeit we're throwing him in the deep end today in his first Australian prep but he is a classy horse and he’s fitter now so it’s up to him.”

Last start winner Buffalo River runs in the Group 1 Cantala Stakes after winning last month’s Group 3 Moonga Stakes at Caulfield.

Mike has secured Linda Meech to partner Buffalo River and suggests the import is not one-dimensional.
“I think he might be able to take a sit today and we’re not against doing it because he doesn’t have to lead and I see him getting a nice spot from barrier four,” he said.

“I know it’s a Group 1 race, but he wasn’t far off in the Toorak last year and he’s a chance again because to me he wants a mile when the ground gets firm which it should be today.”


[30 Oct 21]

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