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Dunstan Final win at last for Moroney

Transtasman trainer Mike Moroney was considering his options after Graphic took out the Dunstan Feeds Championship Final at Ellerslie today, but a transfer to his Flemington stable is not one of them.

Combining a family Christmas in Matamata with raceday duties, Melbourne-based Moroney stated that he’s more than happy to leave Graphic with his New Zealand training partner Chad Ormsby. Victory in today’s keenly contested $75,000 event was the Volksraad gelding’s fourth win from his last five starts, a run of form that began with a maiden 1600-metre success in late October.

“Obviously Chad’s got him worked out and it makes sense to keep it that way,” said Moroney, whose daughter Aliesha is Ormsby’s partner. “There are some nice races coming up for the meantime and he might yet end up in Queensland for the winter.”

The most immediate possible target is the $200,000 Platinum Homes Wellington Cup at Trentham on January 25, but whether that race might come around too soon has yet to be evaluated.

The Dunstan Final winner gains automatic entry to the $500,000 Barfoot & Thompson Auckland Cup back at Ellerslie in March, but the catch in regard to Graphic is that he is not nominated at this stage. That can be addressed by the payment of a $10,000 late fee by February 10.

Moroney took special satisfaction from today’s win given it was his first after years of trying in the Dunstan Final. “I would have had at least one starter just about every year the series has been going,” he said. “It means something to finally win it.”

Race sponsor Dave Smith of Dunstan Horsefeeds reminded Moroney that it was indeed that a horse trained by him added its name to on an honours board that lists numerous smart stayers on their way through the grades.

“When Mike set up his first Australian stable (in Adelaide in 1996) we shipped our product across so his horses would have feed they were familiar with,” Smith recalled.

Graphic, one of the large string racing for Hunterville couple Christopher and Susannah Grace from a range of stables, was ridden again today by Craig Grylls.

He had him in touch with the speed and put his confidence in his staying ability by forging through to challenge soon after straightening. The challenges came, most seriously from the favourite Etoile Filante, but Graphic resisted them all to score by a long neck, with head margins to Lion Red and Her To Eternity in third and fourth places.

“He’s a real stayer,” said Grylls. “He reminds me of Single Minded, he just gets his head down and keeps going.”

Story courtesy of The Informant
[02 Jan 14]

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