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Our spring horses in the news

AAP: Mike Moroney is hopeful talented mare Born To Rock (pictured) can deliver on her winter promise in the Myer Classic at Flemington on Saturday.

A five-time winner in 14 starts, the four-year-old gets her chance to prove her third behind Yosei and Beaded in the Group1 Tattersall's Tiara (1400m) at Eagle Farm in June wasn't a fluke when she runs in the 1600m fillies and mares feature.

The daughter of Fastnet Rock launched her spring campaign with a strong win over 1200m against mares at Moonee Valley on September 30.

Moroney blamed himself for her last-start eighth to More Joyous in the Group2 Tristarc Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield when he deviated from her successful on-pace racing style.

We probably made a bit of a blue last time, Moroney said.

''It was a day where there was a lot of wind and all the jockeys were saying that you couldn't lead.

''Because of that we decided to take a trail on her and it didn't work.

She was unhappy where she was and then we copped a bit of rain, the wind dropped, and the fence was the wrong place to be.

Born To Rock was beaten by 4 lengths but Moroney is certain that she would have finished closer but for the change of race tactics.


Tim Habel, Herald Sun: MIKE Moroney is looking for a consolation prize - and a reason to press on to Tuesday's Melbourne Cup - with Glass Harmonium in Saturday's Group 1 Mackinnon Stakes.

Glass Harmonium is one of six Mackinnon runners remaining in the Melbourne Cup, with Midas Touch, Mourayan, Precedence, Linton and The Verminator.
Moroney said the import, guaranteed a Cup run as seventh in order, needed to run "well enough".

"Then we'll discuss it with the owners and see if they want to roll the dice," he said.

"There is a nagging doubt about the (3200m) distance.

"But to be fair to him, when Tullamore beat him in the Brisbane Cup (2400m), he had to give 4.5kg and we were racing week-to-week and we had to rush him to get to the trip."

Glass Harmonium lost all chance at the start and finished 10th in Saturday's Cox Plate at Moonee Valley.

Moroney blamed faulty starting gates for the tardy getaway.

"It was really disappointing," he said.

"We're hoping this is a good consolation."



AAP: Mike Moroney's confidence in Sabrage giving him his third Victoria Derby is growing every day.

Moroney won the Classic with Second Coming (1997) and Monaco Consul two years ago and says Sabrage can get the job done.

"We are starting to get a fair bit of confidence about the horse," he said.

"The barrier (16) isn't the best and he is going to need luck but even when you draw a (good) barrier you need luck too."

Sabrage is $14 in the latest TAB Sportsbet market but Moroney is convincing as he makes his case for the son of Charge Forward who is peaking at the right time after a setback last month derailed his Caulfield Guineas assault.

"We thought he was our Guineas horse when he won his only start as a two-year-
old leading all the way over 1,200 (metres) at Caulfield on a heavy track and we brought him back in the spring with that in mind," Moroney said.

However plans went awry when Sabrage needed surgery after knocking two teeth out two days before the Guineas Prelude.

It forced a change of plans and Sabrage disappointed a week later when third in the Bill Stutt Stakes (1,600m) at Moonee Valley on September 30.

"He raced as flat as a tack but it could have been the treatment from the operation," Moroney said.

Now he believes that missing the Guineas may have been a blessing with Sabrage making dramatic improvement in the last month.

Two weeks ago he won the Group Three Norman Robinson Stakes (2,000m) at Caulfield and on Tuesday delighted jockey Damien Oliver with his best work yet on the track.

"He keeps getting better and better," Moroney said.

Moroney said frontrunner Second Coming and Monaco Consul were very different horses and that Sabrage fits in between them.

"Second Coming was an out-and-out stayer and had run three weeks straight going into it whereas Monaco Consul had a month between runs going into the Derby and was a horse who didn't take a lot of work," he said.

"Sabrage has handled the preparation terrific, is eating up and handling the work and, in front of your eyes, you can see him getting more and more ready and fitter and fitter.

"Tuesday work isn't the be-all and end-all but he he's always been a casual worker and he really impressed Ollie."


Courier-Mail: MIKE Moroney was a miserable man after Sabrage failed to win last month's Bill Stutt Stakes, but a factual reminder from his brother Paul helped him refocus and the trainer is now on the verge of a third Victoria Derby win.

After being a soundly beaten third in the Stutt, Sabrage bounced back by winning the Norman Robinson Stakes at Caulfield.

Now Moroney believes he can win tomorrow's $1.5 million Derby with Sabrage, following previous wins with Second Coming (1997) and Monaco Consul (2009).
"We're pretty confident. Very confident," he said.

Moroney was thinking the son of Charge Forward was a Guineas horse, but Paul, who is the key man in choosing sale acquisitions for the stable, recalled otherwise.

"I thought he was our Guineas horse but he wasn't sharp at all in the Stutt and there was no way we could go to the Guineas after that," Moroney said.

"I rang my brother Paul the next day after the Stutt and said 'our good colt was disappointing'. Paul said he soldiered on late, but I thought he was better than that because we thought he would win the Stutt with the blinkers being on.

"But Paul reminded me that when we bought him in New Zealand, we bought him to win the Derby, not the Guineas. Paul said he's the dead ringer of Roberto himself, so for that reason it gave me a bit of confidence and we decided to have a crack at it."

Roberto is the grandsire of Charge Forward, a noted sprinter, but also the sire of Melbourne Cup winner At Talaq.

Sabrage has blossomed since the Robinson, according to the trainer, as evidenced by a strong gallop on Tuesday when easily accounting for Derby rival Sangster.

"His work has improved and you can see in front of your eyes him just getting fitter and better every day," Moroney said.

"I know Tuesday work isn't the be all and end all. But he's been a pretty casual worker and he really impressed Ollie on Tuesday."




Sydney Morning Herald: UNTIL Sabrage banged his jaw taking on a box door at Michael Moroney’s Flemington stables, the Derby wasn’t on the radar. No, the two-time Victoria Derby winning trainer, with stables in New Zealand was eyeing off the Caulfield Guineas with this three-year-old.

‘‘What happened with him, we were looking to run in the Guineas trial but the blacksmith went into plate him on the Friday before the race and found a bit of blood in his mouth,’’ Moroney recalled this week at trackwork. ‘‘Two teeth were hanging out, he’d charged at the stable door, there are tiny square grids on it and he got his tooth hooked up.’’

Sabrage is a bugger for biting people and wears a muzzle, although Moroney had found a new way for a galloper to maim itself.

‘‘We got the vet in and he said Sabrage had fractured his jaw,’’ said Moroney who won the Victoria Derby with Second Coming (1997) and Monaco Consul (2009).

‘‘He was sent up to the Werribee veterinary clinic and they said they could do it, fix him up, but he’d end up with a permanent smile, they wouldn’t do a good job.’’

That was if Moroney opted to run in the Guineas trial at Caulfield the next day. It was decided to leave Sabrage in a yard at the clinic and ‘‘do it properly’’.

‘‘He went to the Bill Stutt [Stakes] the following Friday night and I thought he was disappointing,’’ Moroney said. ‘‘The operation did put him off his feed for three days and his jaw was wired up. We had to continually wash his mouth out, he was getting food stuck in it [the wire].’’

The operation included drilling through the side of Sabrage’s mouth, yet the horse returned to the stable and continued to thrive. He may have been ‘‘colty’’ but the gear did the trick. ‘‘The muzzle settled him down and we don’t need it but we might need a mouthguard now,’’ Moroney said.

This was the horse Moroney’s brother identified at the Inglis Easter yearling sale. Paul Moroney is regarded as one of the best judges of a potential top-liner, which can be hard to spot among the hundreds walking around a sale complex.

Paul Moroney inspects every yearling at a sale. He does up a list for his brother. Plenty of youngsters are ruled out.

‘‘I look at the list and take out the ones we can’t afford,’’ Moroney said.

‘‘We both really liked him, he reminded me of his mum [Galroof]. We had a crack at buying him, got him for $200,000, we had a group of owners that took bits and a new one came in named Manfred Krauser.’’ The Moroneys also found Galroof but ‘‘she only had one full season of racing’’ and ‘‘she should have won a Doomben Cup’’.

‘‘I’ve watched and watched the replay and I still can’t believe they [stewards] didn’t reverse the placings, she was taken in badly,’’ Moroney said. ‘‘Anyway, we were getting her ready for the Caulfield Cup that year and she bowed a tendon going three-quarter pace.’’

Jockey Kerrin McEvoy was working Galroof on the Viscoride surface at Flemington where a new vehicle, pedestrian and horse tunnel was being built. Galroof hit a soft patch.

‘‘Kerrin said you might want to check her over, sure enough she’d bowed a tendon,’’ Moroney said.
‘‘They were the kiss of death then, those bowed tendons, but not now, not with the technology available.’’

Galroof was sold to stud and her first foal, Pinnacles, burst through the $1million prizemoney barrier when winning last Sunday’s $150,000 Sale Cup.

The Moroneys have already bought the half-sister to Sabrage, knowing that the sibling was a more-than-useful galloper. Sabrage didn’t take long to repay the Moroneys’ faith. ‘‘He won his first start at two and we put him away for the Guineas,’’ he said.

The reason the Moroneys were keen on the Guineas was because Sabrage is by the group1-winning sprinter Charge Forward. They didn’t think he’d get a staying trip.

Following the Stutt flop, the Caulfield Guineas was ruled out and the Victoria Derby pencilled in. Moroney upped his workload and the three-year-old responded.

Sabrage went to the Norman Robinson with the wire still in his mouth and, stepping up to 2000metres, was able to run down Derby rival Sangster while fending off the unlucky Niagara. ‘‘There are five chances from what I’ve seen,’’ Moroney said.

‘‘The first three home in the Norman Robinson, I thought the horse of Darley’s [Induna] was quite an impressive stayer and the favourite Manawanui.’’

As for running the Derby 2500m out, Moroney summed it up perfectly with ‘‘three-year-olds at this time of year, you just never know’’.

Even with wire in their mouth.





[27 Oct 11]

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WEDNESDAY 20 JUNE AT PUKEKOHE (New Zealand)

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AUSTRALIAN DEBUT FOR REAL GENT AT ECHUCA (Australia)

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