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Marwood takes a crack at the big time!

A big weekend kicks off at Moonee Valley on Friday night with Zabisco the first of several feature race runners for Ballymore over the next few days.

The son of Zabeel takes his place in the Group 3 JRA Trophy and he looks nicely primed third up for the 2040m.

"He has done enough work," Michael Moroney reported, "and he has drawn nicely."

"If he is going to measure up to this sort of class this will be the night for him," he continued with just one hint of caution regarding whether the entire will relish Moonee Valley at only his second start on the Strathayr.

We head to Mornington on Saturday with two runners - Malan and Surpass who both look to be top chances.

"He has been unlucky not to have won three in a row," Moroney said of the in-form Malan who contests the fourth event, the Turner Handicap over 1200m.

"We protested unsuccessfully last start and really thought he could've won that race," said Moroney - noting that the four-year-old was game in defeat at Seymour having been struck over the head several times with the whip of the winning rider.

"He has been up a while but he is going really well and with the pull in the weights after Jordan's claim he looks nicely in."

Also racing in great heart is Surpass who has impressed winning his two Australian starts in easy fashion. The R.M Listed Ansett Classic is his assignment.

"It is his 14th start this preparation," Moroney warned, adding that the five-year-old is a "lightly framed little fella."

"But we can't fault him and the rise in class and distance shouldn't worry him - and neither should a wet track."

Surpass raced five times on heavy going in New Zealand for two wins and three placings and his slow track form also reads well.

Fellow last start winner Savvy Dancer heads back to Morphettville, having won in strong fashion there two weeks ago.

"He is up in weight but he is bright in himself and he has trained on well - he should prove hard to beat again."

Caulfield's Sunday card is a strong one and we take three nice horses to the meeting with Garud our first runner of the day.

Taking his place in the TMB Printing Handicap, the High Chaparral gelding ran boldly first up in Listed company at Flemington.

"He has drawn well (barrier three) which is a big bonus for him as he needs cover," Moroney said, noting that the gelding did overrace a little when resuming.

"He looks suited up in distance and down in class and he is a good chance."
Crimson Lady raced well below her best last time in but has so much ability when right that connections decided to give her a crack at the spring.

"She was going terribly," Moroney admitted - but he has been happier with her this time around.

"We are hoping she just had an off season, that was not her right form. She went really well in a recent jump-out and she could run a sneaky race."

Exciting three-year-old Marwood faces his toughest test to date when taking on some smart gallopers in the Group 3 Caulfield Guineas Prelude but he is well fancied in markets for both this race and the Guineas itself.

"It is a big step up so it is hard to be confident," said Moroney, "but we have been really happy with him."

"He is a lovely horse doing everything right and we are looking forward to seeing if he is up to them."

[27 Sep 13]

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