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by Craig Young, Sydney Morning Herald

A WINTER sabbatical in Queensland has again paid dividends for trainer Mike Moroney. The Kiwi, who is based at Flemington while his daughter Aliesha and her partner Chad Ormsby run his New Zealand operation, has Maythehorsebemagic in tomorrow's $150,000 Queen's Cup (3200 metres) at Eagle Farm.

Moroney has spent eight weeks up north with 10 horses,and Shenzhou Steeds has been the standout, winning the Ipswich and Caloundra cups in recent weeks.

Maythehorsebemagic went well when second in the Ramsden over the 3200 at Flemington and his latest run in Queensland was good, he said. ''He drew bad and went back to last, made ground late on an on-pace track. Booming [second] was probably the run of the race but our horse was getting home as good as the rest of them.

Sydney jockey Jay Ford was on Maythehorsebemagic when seventh behind Ginga Dude in the Tattersall's Cup at Eagle Farm a fortnight ago.

He was very happy and wanted to come back and ride him, Moroney said. Drawn better, he'll be ridden handier to the lead and I know he'll stay the two miles.

Moroney will start Chilean Plume in tomorrow's Brisbane Town Plate. It is a $100,000 maiden and he has had four starts for three seconds, he said. He has struck a couple of wet tracks, too. I'll put the blinkers on for the first time and I hope the weather goes his way.

Shenzhou Steeds will miss next week's Grafton Cup and the stayer, which was recommended by Ormsby, is spelling. He went to the paddock on Tuesday, he said. He'll have two weeks out and will head to the Melbourne spring carnival. We'll give him a couple of runs in the better races and see how he goes. If he doesn't measure up, will send him back out and get him ready for the autumn.

Glass Harmonium, which was competitive in Brisbane last winter and in spring when he won the Mackinnon Stakes, returned to work at Flemington this week.

We'll set him for the Cox Plate and Mackinnon again, he said. We ran him in the Melbourne Cup but he didn't stay. The right trip for him is a mile-and-a-quarter; he is a fast mile-and-a-quarter horse.

Moroney's attempt to claim another Melbourne Cup will be left to the likes of Sabrage and a few emerging stayers, which will need to step up.

Sabrage was third in the Victoria Derby and second in the SA Derby from an outside gate, he said.

As the season winds down, he said his Ballymore operation was closing in on 100 winners and about $4 million in stakes, including New Zealand.

Moroney may have tried to keep his daughter out of racing, even sent her to boarding school, but Aliesha's involvement in dressage led to her winning national under-21 titles.

She worked for Deloittes but has now decided to get back in the family business, he said. Her and Chad have been together for three years and seem pretty serious. Chad is a really good horseman. They took over the stable in New Zealand around eight weeks ago and have had about eight winners.



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