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Midweek action - Ballarat & Bendigo

A busy couple of days kicks off with Bishops Castle contesting the first race at Ballarat on Wednesday, an 1100m three-year-old maiden.

Beaten though not disgraced - third - as an odds-on favourite when resuming at the same track a couple of weeks ago, the well regarded son of O'Reilly was expected to win that day and his defeat left us scratching our heads!

However, gear changes have been applied and we are looking for an improved showing from a horse who is considered stakes class.

"He is a pretty smart horse," Michael Moroney said, "and if he doesn't win this one he may well end up two stones lighter!"

Another promising maiden in Smiles For Naara lines up in the fourth event, a 1600m fillies and mares maiden.

Quickly up to that trip at only her second outing - finishing a handy fifth, the well related daughter of Zabeel has the blinkers on for the first time.

"Being a Zabeel blinkers should really help her," said Moroney, adding that the filly had "trained on well" since her last run.

"She may still be a preparation away but she has always shown good ability."

First up in the final event, Major Coup is another horse we have a bit of time for and a bold showing is expected from the son of Savabeel.

"He is well forward for his first up run," Moroney said. "His jump-outs have been good and he is a nice horse in the making."

We saddle up some nice horses at Bendigo on Thursday also - including two in the third race, a 1400m three-year-old fillies maiden.

Sauv Blanc Babe, who ran nicely at debut over 1200m, is suited by a rise in trip to 1400m and she has pleased with her progress.

"Her first up run was good and she has improved since," Moroney said.

Also bred to improve over more ground is the Zabeel filly Sunset Magic who was sound after racing greenly at debut behind smart stablemate La Zuma.

"She did a bit wrong there," Moroney said, "and it may be that she needs blinkers. But I want to step her up in distance before we consider that."

Speaking of distance, the import Garud is really going to appreciate stepping up to the 2400m of the Country Showcase and there is plenty of confidence surrounding the son of High Chaparral.

"He gets his chance," said Moroney. "He is getting up to his right distance and he should prove very hard to beat."

Hopefully we can see out the card with a winner, the promising Saint Or Sinner lining up in the final event - a 1300m ratings handicap.

Impressive defeating the smart Red Corner (a subsequent winner) at debut, the St Reims three-year-old has done nicely since.

"He is one of several very nice three-year-olds we have," he said, adding that "he possesses realy ability."

In other stable news, high class galloper Glass Harmonium (pictured) has pulled up well from his encouraging first up run in the Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes and he heads towards the Toorak Handicap enroute to the W.S Cox Plate.
[02 Oct 12]

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