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Kicking off the week at Echuca

A busy week kicks off at Echuca on Monday with four runners including three well related three-year-olds in the same race.

It's an early start to our day with Zazparella taking her place in the opening event at 11.20, a 1212m maiden plate.

To be ridden by Jason Lyon who was also aboard for her encouraging debut at Echuca late last month, Zazparella is well regarded - expected to prove competitive.

"Her first run was very good," Michael Moroney said, "and she has improved - she should prove hard to beat."

Raced by a large group of enthusiastic owners, Zazparella is a daughter of Al Maher - also sire of Ballymore's Gr.3 winner Marheta. And she is well bred on the dam line also, hailing from the same family as the champion stallions Mill Reef and Blushing Groom.

The second race is a very busy one for us - Epic Choice, Little Hero and Machine Age clashing in the 1416m maiden.

Having only his second start - debuting at Flemington in Early May - Epic Choice is an extremely well bred son of Dylan Thomas out of a half sister to the champion racehorse and stallion Redoute's Choice (who, it has just been announced, will be shuttling to France next year to stand at the Aga Khan's stud).

Considered "one of our main Derby chances," Epic Choice tired after showing speed at debut but has been given a little time and is expected to improve - Luke Currie to take the ride from barrier three.

A game second at his Wodonga debut in late July, Little Hero is also a very nice type - the son of 'sire of the moment' Fastnet Rock expected to go close.

"His first run was really good and we have been very happy with him since," Moroney said, "he should prove hard to beat."

A grandson of the Gr.1 mare Cannsea, Little Hero has drawn barrier five with Jason Lyon to ride.

The third of our trio in this race is Machine Age who jumps from barrier 11 for Nick Hall.

"He is a really nice staying type," Moroney said of the son of Flying Spur.

"He is another of our Derby chances and it will be really interesting to see how he goes at debut."

A son of Flying Spur, Machine Age hails from the family of outstanding stallion Cape Cross.

[19 Aug 12]

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