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African Pulse all set for Oakleigh Plate

By Mark Ryan, AAP

Mike Moroney is happy with his decision to dodge champion mare Black Caviar with talented colt African Pulse and it could pay off in Saturday's Group One Oakleigh Plate at Caulfield.

Moroney did not accept with the three-year-old in the Group One Lightning Stakes (1000m) won in sizzling fashion by the world's highest ranked sprinter.

And the Flemington trainer believes he pulled the right rein in avoiding the weight-for-age 1000m dash to contest the 1100m Oakleigh Plate.

The son of Johannesburg would have had to carry 55.5kg in the Lightning - only one kilogram less than Black Caviar.

But under the handicap conditions of the Oakleigh Plate, he is one of 11 horses on the minimum with 52kg.

He gets a 6kg weight advantage off star colt Sepoy who will have to set a weight carrying record for a three-year-old if he is to win with topweight of 58kg which is 2.5kg above weight-for-age.

African Pulse is currently 19th of the 21 entries in the ballot order to make the field which has a field limit of 18 plus four emergencies.

"He's always looked a Group horse all the way through and in the spring we just couldn't find the right race for him," Moroney said.

"So we ran him just the once (when he beat Karuta Queen over 1000 metres on Melbourne Cup Day at Flemington."

The colt made it three wins from four starts when he resumed with a win in a 0-89 1000m event at Caulfield on January 26.

"I've been impressed with how he's settling because he was a hard-going little horse as a two and early three-year-old," Moroney said.

"His only defeat (when nosed out by Jackpot Queen over 1000m at Flemington last May) was through wanting to jump and go too hard.

"But he's learned to relax and that's going to be a big help to him."

Fastnet Rock holds the weight-carrying record for a three-year-old, carrying 57kg on a 52.5kg minimum when he won the race in 2005.

Fastnet Rock went into the race as the winner of the 2005 Lightning Stakes.

Sepoy has been beaten only once in 11 starts and has already notched four Group One victories - the Blue Diamond Stakes at this meeting last year, the Golden Slipper, the Manikato and the Coolmore Stud Stakes.

The Oakleigh Plate has been a good race for three-year-olds with 10 winning in the past 21 runnings.

[20 Feb 12]


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