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A Bit of Winning Magic

The stable has always had time for promising mare Sunset Magic but her determined victory at Caulfield on Wednesday came somewhat as a pleasant surprise.

Whilst it was expected that the up-and-coming daughter of Zabeel would prove competitive, it did look on paper to be a strong maiden field with plenty of strong form lines going into it.

But the four-year-old, after travelling well a bit worse than midfield for Craig Newitt, found the line extremely well – wearing down the leaders as they
had skipped clear turning.

Hitting the lead inside the 50m mark, Sunset Magic drew clear over the final stages – her ¾ length victory a soft one.

A deserved winner on the back of consistent form – the four-year-old having been in the placings at her three previous outings – Sunset Magic has pulled up well and heads to Bendigo in a couple of week’s time for her next outing.

“It was a good effort in what looked to be a pretty decent maiden,” Michael Moroney said, adding that both he and Craig Newitt are confident that Sunset Magic will improve all the more over longer trips.

The stable has been enjoying a good run of late and we hope that continues over the weekend as we campaign nice horses in Victoria and Tasmania.

We kick the hot Melbourne weekend off with Baqaat who lines up in the Blackwoods Handicap, the third event on the Friday night Moonee Valley card.

After a strong Stony Creek victory two starts back, the imported six-year-old was expected to prove competitive at Moonee Valley a couple of weeks ago but was, Moroney admits, “a bit disappointing.”

“We haven’t been able to figure out why she went so badly,” he said – noting that he has been more than happy with her progress since.

“If you go on her track work she is capable of improving pretty quickly,” he said.

We take just the one runner to Caulfield on Saturday – Devonshire Duke due to contest the BMW Melbourne Handicap – the opening race over 2000m.

A tough last start all-the-way winner at Mornington, the Keeper five-year-old
has been given “a bit of an easy time” since, Moroney mixing up his work with a bit of swimming.

Whilst not at his absolute best on very firm going, Devonshire Duke does look nicely placed with Katelyn Mallyon aboard – “it looks the sort of race that he should prove very competitive in.”

It is Hobart Cup Day on Sunday and we are looking forward to heading south with two runners including Surpass who will take his place in the main event of the day.

Nicely primed for the step up to the 2400m of the Group 3 event, Surpass is fifth up and ready to show his best.

“This is the first race this time in that he looks really well suited,” Moroney said, adding that a step up in distance and a “fitness edge” should seem him in the thick of things. “And he has backed up well in the past.”

Bishops Castle (pictured), who races in the Listed Thomas Lyons Stakes, also heads to Tasmania and whilst not well treated at the weight-for-age scale, he does have the services of Glen Boss.

Unlucky when held up for runs when resuming – “he never got a go at them at any stage” – the four-year-old showed plenty of promise last time in with the stable always confident that he could measure up in good company.

[07 Feb 14]

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