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Air Striker to hit Sydney

Saturday is a busy day with three runners at three different tracks in in Sydney and Melbourne.

Our feature runner of the day is the lightly raced and promising Air Striker who takes his place in the Group 2 Tulloch Stakes at Rosehill.

Despite drawing a horror gate (17), the son of Pentire looks nicely primed for the 2000m although is a horse who still has a bit of maturing to do.

"The question mark is whether he is yet strong enough for the 2000m in such a good field," Michael Moroney cautioned, "but he is proven around the right way of going having won a couple of trials in New Zealand and he does handle rain affected tracks."

Training on well since his latest outing - a game Caulfield second over 1700m, Air Striker was impressive breaking his maiden at his previous outing and has always been well regarded.

Back in Melbourne we saddle up two decent chances at Moonee Valley, kicking off with Crimson Lady who will appreciate a drop in class in the Medownick Laser Eye Surgery Handicap over 2040m.

To be ridden by Michael Walker, the Volksraad four-year-old was close up in the Listed Albury Cup last start - and not much went right that day.

"She just ended up in the wrong part of the track," Moroney said, noting that she was beaten less than two lengths.

"Back against the mares she should prove hard to beat."

Our second Moonee Valley runner Major Coup also looks to be a major contender from barrier eight in the Friends of Epworth Handicap.

Also to be ridden by Michael Walker, the lightly raced four-year-old faces a rise in class after a recent Moonee Valley victory but the 2500m looks ideal for the son of Savabeel.

"We are throwing him in the deep end a bit," Moroney conceded, "but there were not really any other races about for him and he is a pretty exciting stayer in the making. A win would be of no surprise to us."

A busy weekend continues on Sunday with two runners at each of the Benalla and Sale meetings.

Girls On Film has drawn nicely in barrier five for Jason Lyon in the 1200m maiden at Benalla and a bold showing is expected from the consistent mare who has been close up at all five of her New Zealand runs.

"The form around her has been excellent," Moroney pointed out, "and we expect her to open her Australian account with a win."

Saint Or Sinner also heads to Benalla and he looks well placed in a 1400m 0-72 ratings handicap with Jason Lyon to ride.

"He was terrific first up," said Moroney - "and he was pretty unlucky, he probably should've won. He is a nice horse in the making and will be hard to beat."

Glove Man is another from the NZ stables making his Australian debut - kicking off in a 1619m maiden at Sale.

To jump from barrier one for Stephen Baster, the three-year-old son of Keeper has been close up at both summer runs.

"He is probably going to make a nice stayer," Moroney said, "but he should break his maiden quickly and prove competive on Sunday."

Little Hero is our final runner for the weekend, the three-year-old "knocking on the door" after two seconds from his last three starts.

"We are going to ride him a little bit differently this time," said Moroney, noting that the son of Fastnet Rock has been going forward but not really finishing off as well as could be expected.

"We will go a fraction quieter on him this time to see if he can round them up in the run home."


[05 Apr 13]

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