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African Pulse set to improve

By Robert Windmill, AAP...

Trainer Mike Moroney is prepared to forgive African Pulse's Oakleigh Plate defeat in the hope that weight relief and the straight track will improve him in the Newmarket Handicap at Flemington.

Moroney admitted he expected the three-year-old to run better than 10th in the Group One 1100-metre Caulfield sprint two weeks ago but after analysing sectional times believes he might have "gassed" himself on the hot pace.

Notably the winner Woorim and runner-up Elite Falls swooped from last and second last respectively, giving merit to African Pulse's 2-1/2 length defeat.
"I was a little bit disappointed but he didn't get an easy run posted three wide facing the breeze," Moroney said.

"When you look at the sectionals they did go pretty hard early."

The winner of three of his five starts, African Pulse has always impressed Moroney and drops from 52kg in the Oakleigh Plate to 50kg in Saturday's Newmarket.

His only two starts at Flemington have featured a victory over flying filly Karuta Queen during Melbourne Cup week and a second to Jackpot Queen when beaten in a photo-finish.

The Oakleigh Plate was his longest race so far but jockey Lisa Cropp told Moroney that he was ready for the 1200 metres.

"In the Oakleigh Plate Lisa thought he raced like he wants further as he just didn't quicken up like she thought he would," Moroney said.

"Dropping down to 50kg and the fact he has got such a good straight record is going to be a big help on Saturday but in big fields you just need a that bit of luck.

"He has drawn barrier 22 which could be good or bad depending on where the speed is."

The middle of the track has been the preferred path for a lot of recent straight-track winners at Flemington and African Pulse should have plenty of company to keep him honest with a lot of the fancied runners drawn out.

Bel Sprinter (13), Beaded (14), who was third to Black Caviar last year, Hay List (15), Foxwedge (17) and Facile Tigre (21) will all be in his sights.

"He has certainly trained on from the Oakleigh Plate and I can't fault the horse so we are as confident as can be with it being a Group One race," Moroney said.

At $41 with TAB Sportsbet African Pulse would be one of the longest-priced Newmarket winners.
[08 Mar 12]


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