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Sabrage to Moonee Valley

By Mark Ryan, AAP

Mike Moroney is hoping the decision to keep Sabrage at home this week and aim him for the Alister Clark Stakes at Moonee Valley will pay off on Friday night.

The Flemington trainer had originally intended the Charge Forward colt to go to Sydney for Saturday's Group One Randwick Guineas (1600m).

But he decided that the 2040m of the Group Two Alister Clark was the better option before he goes to Sydney for two Group One races, the $500,000 Rosehill Guineas (2000m) on March 31 and the $1.5 million Australian Derby (2400m) at Randwick on April 14.

However Moroney feels that the barrier eight draw in the 10-horse field has made his job that much harder.

"The barrier draw is a bit of a question. He's had no luck with barrier draws this time in," Moroney said.

"Hopefully he'll draw better when he gets to the Group Ones I suppose."

A 1200m winner at Caulfield on a heavy track at his only start as a two-year-old last May, Sabrage won the Group Three Norman Robinson Stakes (2000m), beating Sangster and Niagara, at Caulfield last spring.

The three-year-old was spelled after he ran third behind Sangster and Induna in the Group One Victoria Derby (2500m) at Flemington.

He resumed with an eighth to That's The One in the Group Three CS Hayes Stakes (1410m) last month before running sixth to star filly Mosheen in the Group One Australian Guineas (1600m) on March 3, both at Flemington.

"Ollie (jockey Damien Oliver) thought it was the wet ground when he struggled to sprint early in the home straight here at Flemington last start, but it might be that he wants to get up to 2000 metres pretty quickly," Moroney said.

"We were going to go to the Randwick Guineas but we tossed it around and decided on the Alister Clark."

Sabrage has raced twice at Moonee Valley for a last to Umah Rock in the Listed Mitchell McKenzie Stakes (1200m) when resuming last August and a third behind Chase The Rainbow and Cute Emily in the Group Two Bill Stutt Stakes (1600m) in late September.

"He hit a bit of a flat spot in the Stutt Stakes and then found the line OK but in his two runs he hasn't been great getting around the Valley," Moroney said.

"His run was still good in the Stutt but he's a good horse and we were slightly disappointed he didn't win it.

"He's a horse who can go forward when he draws a barrier but when you draw out there it makes it a bit hard as you get a bit dictated to.

"We just have to hope that there's speed on."

[14 Mar 12]


[16 Jun 19] Two runners: Slinky Linky (Bullbars) and She's A Goddess (Tavistock), both likely to go forward on a course that can suit front runners  more...


[15 Jun 19] Two of our imports are our runners on the Lakeside course at Sandown in Mr Marathon Man and Buffalo River.  more...


[15 Jun 19] Trainer Mike Moroney admits Mr Marathon Man and Buffalo River are still works in progress but he has loftier ambitions for the pair after they raced to strong wins at Sandown.  more...
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