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King Pulse back in action

A very busy racing weekend kicks off at Moonee Valley on Friday night with three lightly raced and promising gallopers facing the starter.

The first of those is the well related Across The Moon - a 3/4 sister to the dual Gr.1 winner Melito - who kicks off her campaign in the Essendon Mazda Challenge Heat.

Having her first start since October last year, the three-year-old has matured nicely in her break, Michael Moroney noting that whilst she has always shown good ability "she has not been overly strong."

"She has always had the speed and talent," he added, "but not the strength. She has really come on now."

Mark Zahra takes the ride on Across The Moon who, as a black type performer, looks nicely placed in restricted grade - drawn ideally in barrier four.

We have two runners in the final event, the Legends After The Last Handicap - Mr Molokai nicely primed to break through at city level after two Sandown seconds and Schrapnel Gully gaining a run as emergency.

"He has been racing consistently," Moroney said of the last start Geelong winner, "and the step up to the mile is going to suit him."

Mr Molokai meanwhile is back slightly in distance - "he disappointed us a bit when he got beaten (as an odds on favourite) last start," Moroney said, "but we are hoping the return to the mile plus the blinkers on will see him back to his best."

And he is, Moroney continued, well worth another chance - "it was a slowly run affair last time and he ended up in the worst part of the track."

Saturday is an exciting day for the stable with the return of our outstanding sprinting prospect King Pulse who takes his place against glamour mare Black Caviar in the Gr.1 Lightning Handicap.

"We are throwing him in the deep end," Moroney conceded, "but we want to start him off at 1000m. He is not well in at the weights against Black Caviar but we are very happy with him. He has come back bigger and stronger and we think he is over his problems."

"We are just glad to have him back!"

Also first up, lining up in The Big6 Handicap earlier in the day is the talented Sophrosyne - last seen running fifth at Sandown at his only spring run on the back of an unsuccessful Queensland campaign.

"He was disappointing up there," Moroney said, "but he has come back looking particularly well. He won his jump-out quite easily recently and he has always shown himself to be a horse with above average ability."

Another talented galloper resuming at Flemington is the lightly raced Absolutelyawesome who runs in the Gr.3 C.S Hayes Stakes.

"They may prove too sharp for him over the 1400m," Moroney said, "but hopefully they will go quickly and he can run on well late."

Whilst Absolutelyawesome had a set-back, his first up run put back ten days after an untimely foot abscess, he has trialled well recently and he did win at his Kilmore debut last spring.

Catching the eye with a strong late finish at Moonee Valley first up, Spontaneous will be suited over the 1700m of the Gurner's Lane Handicap, the last race on the Flemington programme.

"The forecasted rain will bring him right into it," Moroney said, noting the five-year-old's consistent slow track record. "His firs tup run was very good - he was held up for much of the straight but was strong once he got clear."

A runner in Sydney also, Itimio leaving by float on Thursday evening to contest the Mad Mex handicap at Rosehill.

Game in defeat after making the pace at Moonee Valley last time out, the talented four-year-old steps up to 1800m, a trip Moroney is confident will suit.

"He always puts himself into his races and gives himself every chance," he said, noting that barrier six will suit - "he should prove hard to beat."

See Michael Moroney interviewed about King Pulse at Racing & Sports.

[18 Feb 11]


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