Member Login


Mike Moroney and Pam Gerard will have numbers and class in their favour for the Gr.1 Cambridge Stud Zabeel Classic (2000m) on Boxing Day.

The Matamata training partnership is set to have three runners in the weight-for-age contest at Ellerslie, with two of them – Harlech and Sound – both looking like solid chances.

Sound will be making his third visit to New Zealand, albeit a bit earlier than usual. He has run in the previous two editions of the Gr.1 Auckland Cup (3200m), notching a second and a third placing, but this will be his first attempt at 2000m in New Zealand.

However, he comes in very good form, having won his second consecutive Gr.2 Zipping Classic (2400m) at Sandown on November 27.

“When he won the Zipping it was the second-fastest last 600m of the day, and the only faster one was in a 1000m sprint,” Gerard said.

The nine-year-old entire hasn’t won at the top level yet and Gerard hopes he can pick one up in New Zealand this season.

“This is probably not his main target, but the way he won the Zipping, we thought it was worth throwing him in there,” Gerard said.

“Certainly if he could get a Group One at weight-for-age it really enhances his stallion career.”

Harlech also comes into the race in good form, having followed a runner-up finish in the Gr.1 Livamol Classic (2040m) with a solid fifth in the Gr.1 Captain Cook Stakes (1600m) on December 11 after being near last on the turn.

“He normally settles closer but he got turned sideways at the start and that was not helpful on a day where the on-pace runners had the advantage,” Gerard said.

The stable will also start On The Rocks in the Zabeel Classic, and Gerard said she was happy with him despite being unplaced in the Captain Cook Stakes.

“He’s much better suited to 2000m, though 2000m at Ellerslie hasn’t always been his best friend,” she said.

“But I’m happy with the condition he’s in. He’s a bright, happy horse, and I don’t think he’s put in a bad run this season.”

Leading jockey Danielle Johnson picks up the mount on Sound, while Michael McNab is on Harlech and Kozzi Asano will be aboard On The Rocks.

Also likely to be seeking black type on Boxing Day is Sassy Merlot, though it hasn’t been decided whether the three-year-old filly will target the Listed Shaw’s Wire Ropes Uncle Remus Stakes (1400m) or the Gr.2 Jamieson Park Eight Carat Classic (1600m).

Sassy Merlot has run four times for two wins, the most recent a Rating 65 triumph over 1400m at Te Rapa on December 11.

“She’s a super filly,” Gerard said. “She had one run on a rain-affected track that wasn’t the best but when she’s on top of the ground and ridden positively she’s a very fast filly and very determined.”

Moroney and Gerard’s other major runner at the Ellerslie carnival will be the speedy mare Roch ‘N’ Horse, who will take on Entriviere and Levante in the Gr.1 Sistema Railway (1200m) on January 1.

“She’s going super and we’re pretty excited about getting her there,” Gerard said.

“She only just got beaten by Levante last time, and the jockey lost his iron and his saddle slipped so had she been a bit more balanced she probably would have been a bit closer.”

The stable had also considered running the improving mare Tevere in the Listed Hallmark Stud Handicap (1200m) on Boxing Day following her victory at Te Rapa on December 11 but instead decided to wait.

“We’re going to bide our time a little bit longer and look at an open 1300m at Auckland on January 9,” Gerard said.

“I was keen on the Hallmark at one time but two weeks between runs has never really been her go and she will be much better with extra time between races.”

Meanwhile, Moroney and Gerard have seven horses nominated for Matamata on Thursday, with the best chances possibly being Lingjun Xiongfeng in a maiden 1400m event, Chancellor in a 1200m three-year-old maiden, and Amoramio in a 1050m maiden. – NZ Racing Desk, Sound winning the Gr.2 Zipping Classic (2400m) at Caulfield last month.
Photo: Reg Ryan (Racing Photos)

[21 Dec 21]


[28 May 22] One runner, grey colt Lingjun Xiongfeng (The Factor) drops back to 1400 metres after contesting Group 2 2100 metres  more...


[28 May 22] Four Saturday runners now after the scratching of Bermadez with Buffalo River in Brisbane and Tokorangi, Keats and General Firepower all racing at Caulfield.  more...


[27 May 22] Trainer Mike Moroney’s association with four-time Group One winner Tofane is set to continue.  more...
SASSY ALRIGHT (NZ) [23 Oct 21]
AKTAU RETURNS (Aus) [31 Jul 21]
CORKS A POPPIN (NZ) [26 Jun 21]
COBRA STRIKES (Aus) [25 Oct 20]
SNIPER AT MOE (Aus) [16 Oct 20]
STAFF WANTED (NZ) [29 Oct 18]
RUBY A GEM (NZ) [25 Apr 18]
AVEC MOI WINS (NZ) [07 Mar 18]
BORN TO WIN (Aus) [28 Aug 17]
Girl Power! (NZ) [15 Sep 16]
100 Looms! (Aus) [21 Jul 16]
She's A Rose (Aus) [09 Jul 16]
Ararat Trio (Aus) [17 May 16]
Two Guineas! (Aus) [04 Mar 16]
Tulsa Resumes (Aus) [05 Feb 16]
Extra Smart! (Aus) [02 Sep 15]
Sandown Trio. (Aus) [01 Sep 15]
Rose Blooms! (Aus) [31 Aug 15]
Saturday Trio (Aus) [17 Jul 15]
Quiet Weekend (Aus) [25 Jun 15]
Sandown Trio (Aus) [03 Mar 15]
Garud At Best (Aus) [29 Dec 14]
Christmas Joy (Aus) [28 Dec 14]
Thursday Trio (Aus) [25 Nov 14]
RIP Araldo (Aus) [05 Nov 14]
Miz Flies! (Aus) [04 Aug 14]
Tasmanian Duo (Aus) [25 Feb 14]
Midweek Duo (Aus) [21 Jan 14]
Weekend Trio (Aus) [06 Dec 13]
Sale duo (Aus) [25 Sep 13]
On A Roll! (NZ) [17 Aug 13]
Te Rapa Duo (NZ) [15 Aug 13]
Confidence! (Aus) [26 Jul 13]
Lady Fires (Aus) [29 Mar 13]
Ararat Double (Aus) [12 Feb 13]
A Major win (Aus) [10 Nov 12]
Sale Saturday (Aus) [06 Sep 12]
A Magic start (Aus) [09 Apr 12]
Flashy flies! (Aus) [24 Mar 12]
Two for two! (Aus) [04 Nov 11]
What a week! (Aus) [03 Oct 11]
Born To Win! (Aus) [01 Oct 11]
Dashing Duke (Aus) [06 Jul 11]
She Rocks! (Aus) [18 Jun 11]
Busy weekend! (Aus) [03 Jun 11]
The Team (Aus) [09 Apr 11]
A Sale double (Aus) [28 Feb 11]
He's a Moral! (Aus) [18 Nov 10]
Oaks Day 2010 (Aus) [02 Nov 10]
A big weekend (Aus) [08 Jan 10]
Take That! (Aus) [02 Dec 09]