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Bonnie Mac tackles Australia Stakes

from Racing Victoria... Tomorrow night's Group 2 Essendon Mazda Australia Stakes (1200m) at Moonee Valley, looms as a turning point for Mike Moroney's former New Zealand based mare Bonnie Mac.

The daughter of Thorn Park could not have been more impressive after arriving in Australia last Autumn.

She won three races on end including the listed Proud Miss Stakes in Adelaide but a combination of factors saw her run well below that form subsequently.

She had some wind issues when she came over but they were not serious enough to stop her racing very well, so we pushed on as long as we could, Moroney said.

Moroney travelled Bonnie Mac to Queensland over the winter but she failed to run up to her outstanding form down south, although Moroney said her breathing was not the main problem.

She just didn't handle the right handed way of going. It wasn't the wind so much but when her form tailed off up there we stopped and got the operation done.

Bonnie Mac resumed in the group 3 Standish Handicap at Flemington on New Year's day and although she could only finish sixth, Moroney was far from disappointed with her effort.

It (the Standish) was a pretty strong off season sprint and I thought her effort had plenty of merit.

She was probably on the wrong part of the track and I think she peaked on her run over the final stages.

With 50 metres to go she was going to run third or fourth but she was coming off a long spell so was probably entitled to get tired.

Moroney said Bonnie Mac has derived plenty of benefit from her first up run and he expects a much improved effort in the in the Australia Stakes, a race that will decide her future racing direction.

''This will be a turning point for her. She has the ability but this run in what is not a strong weight-for-age race, will tell us whether she can be competitive in a race like the Newmarket or whether we drop back to mares races.

Dwayne Dunn who was aboard Bonnie Mac in her listed win in Adelaide, will be reunited with her on Friday night.

We also run Flashy Fella and Red Eye Special on Friday evening, the duo lining up in the third event, the Printhouse Handicap over 1600m.

Stripping fitter for an encouraging first up performance (a close up fourth over 1400m at Caulfield), Flashy Fella is expected to prove competitive.

"Second up at the mile should suit him ideally," Anthony Feroce said, "and he should run well."

Also expected to put in a bold showing is Octavia who heads to Caulfield on Saturday.

A game third down the Flemington straight at her most recent outing, the daughter of Holy Roman Emperor has pleased us with her progress since.

"She has trained on nicely," said Feroce, adding that "being back around a bend should suit her - she looks a strong chance."

Ballymore sends a number of horses to the provincials on Sunday - Big Paddy and Jaws lining up in the 1415 3Y0 Maiden at Benalla whilst Mineiro, Goddess Pele and Yesmasa contesting the 1400m 3Y0 Fillies Maiden at Werribee.

A daughter of Lonhro, Mineiro has derived benefit from her recent debut and has trained on well whilst the others are all nice staying types kicking off - horses to watch for the future!

[24 Jan 13]


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