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Abitofado contests Launceston Cup

Abitofado headlines our runners this week, the tough six-year-old taking his place in Wednesday's $225,000 Gr.3 Launceston Cup.

Stepping up to the 2400m for the first time since an unplaced run in the NZ Derby nearly three years ago, the eight times winner was not far away in the Hobart Cup and he looks the likely leader.

"He has drawn a horror gate again," Michael Moroney conceded, "but he only has to relax in front to be a chance. He has done really well in between runs."

We also saddle up four Sandown runners on Wednesday - including Little Slapper and Mydreamcatcher who both contest the Patinack Farm Handicap over 2100m.

A second up improver over 1715m at Geelong last time out, the honest five-year-old looks nicely placed with Chris Symons aboard.

"She has got good Sandown form around the distance," Moroney said, "and it looks an ideal race for her. The only query is the gap between runs but she should prove hard to beat."

Same goes, he says, for My Dream Catcher who has been game filling placings at her last two starts at Moonee Valley and Sandown.

"Her last two runs have been good and she has been knocking on the door. This is a nice distance for her."

Also suited up in distance is Bronislava, one of our two runners in the final event, the Ahern's Handicap.

Last but beaten only 3.8 lengths first up over 1200m, she will appreciate the step up to the 1400m and Moroney has been pleased with her, noting that "she does usually come to hand quickly."

Twice successful second up from her last three campaigns, Bronislava has the services of Damien Oliver.

Craig Williams rides promising mare Platinum Passion in the same race, the talented grey having her first run since the spring.

"This is an ideal starting point for her," Moroney said. "Whatever she shows she will improve on but she is a quality mare and it would be no surprise to see her in the finish."

[22 Feb 11]

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