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Two to Flemington

Racing returns to Headquarters this Saturday and Ballymore saddle up two nice horses - fingers crossed for a running double with Octavia (pictured) and Zabisco contesting consecutive races.

Taking her place in the fourth event on the card, the Nouvelle Star Handicap over 1000m, Octavia is having her first start at her home track but she was given straight track practice with a jump-out last week.

"She seemed to handle it well," Michael Moroney said, adding that providing the talented daughter of Holy Roman Emperor has a bit of luck from the outside gate "she should prove very competitive."

An impressive all-the-way winner over 1200m at Moonee Valley last start, Octavia drops back in distance as the race is nicely placed as a lead-in to up-coming events - Moroney keen to give the promising bay a crack at summer black type races.

"We have been happvyer with the way she has been going," he said - confident that Thomas Sadler, who was aboard last start, will again give her every chance.

Drawn nicely in barrier 3 for Glen Boss, Zabisco lines up in the following race, the Comedy King Handicap over 1600m.

"He has drawn a long way better this time," Moroney said of the son of Zabeel who proved disappointing from a wider gate at Mornington last start.

"It was a shocker though," Moroney conceded - "he can be inconsistent. But he won the Wodonga Cup in good style two starts ago and we have taken the ear muffs off this time. Hopefully that will spark him up a bit."

"We can't fault him on his work," he continued, "he's going really well."

We also have one runner on each day Sunday, Monday and Tuesday - kicking off with Te Karaka at Werribee, the six-year-old stepping up in distance in the Avalon Tour of Victoria Showcase SV 0 - 68 Handicap.

Catching the eye with a good late finish when fifth over 2040m at Moonee Valley last start, the son of High Chaparral looks nicely placed up to 2230m with Steven Arnold to take the ride.

"He wears blinkers for the first time," Moroney noted, adding that "providing he gets around Werribee okay he should prove hard to beat."

Imported mare Baqaat heads to Ararat on Monday. Having only her third Australian run, the lightly raced five-year-old has recovered well after suffering from a virus.

"She has been going nicely and with Jordan Childs' claim she comes in well.

Sagacious Flame is also back from a slight set-back but she too has pleased us with her work and she looks a big chance to break her maiden in the opening event at Warrnambool on Tuesday.

A bold second at her Pakenham debut in mid-December, the daughter of Canny Lad is well regarded.

"She is a reasonably smart filly," said Moroney, "one who we think will start winning races pretty quickly."
[11 Jan 13]

TWO RUNNERS FOR THE STABLE AT SANDOWN (Australia)

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