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A Divine Sibling

Dual stakes winner Divine Rebel (pictured) - twice runner up in the Sydney Cup - was a terrific mare for the stable and now we are having plenty of fun with her little brother Saint Or Sinner.

A game winner at Werribee on Australia Day, the still lightly raced-four-year-old stepped up in both class and distance at Mornington on Wednesday - and again found the line in determined fashion.

Chasing a hot pace, Saint Or Sinner sat fourth some distance behind the leaders but was always travelling well for champion jockey Damien Oliver.

Getting off heels to make his challenge before the turn, Saint Or Sinner was second into the straight but had a fight on his hands as favourite Little Bro fought hard.

The two engaged in an exciting contest down the straight but over the final stages Saint Or Sinner was able to get the upper-hand. And testament to the ability of the first two across the line was the fact that there was seven lengths to the third horse.

A four times winner from just 11 starts, Saint Or Sinner has not enjoyed smooth sailing this preparation with a set-back at a vital stage but he is really hitting his straps now.

"He has had a few problems and today was probably the first time we've had him hard fit this preparation," Michael Moroney said.

Pleased to see Saint Or Sinner win over a mile, Moroney is confident that the son of St Reims will be all the better over longer trips.

"I am looking forward to seeing him get up to a mile and a quarter," he said - "that looks an ideal trip for him."

Always holding Saint Or Sinner in good regard, Moroney campaigned the gelding in Queensland last winter but after knocking a tendon the promising horse "missed a lot of work" and ended up having just the one run.

"It took a while for him to get over it," he said, "so we just gave him the time he needed."

Whilst it looks as though Saint Or Sinner - whose family members tend to improve with age and maturity - is up to better things, it is one step at a time at this early stage.

"We will let him go through his grades and see where he ends up."

Damien Oliver was pleased with Saint Or Sinner's victory, noting that off the back of a "pretty strong tempo" he was able to put in a "good effort."

Congratulations to owners R & C Legh Racing, Gurners Bloodstock, GG Ltd, Barry Broomhead, Barry and Deidre Neville-White, Glenn Mews, Harold Hansen, Noel & Judy Griffin and Ballymore Stables (Aust) Pty Ltd for whom Saint Or Sinner was a bargain $NZ36,000 yearling purchased by Paul Moroney.

And now we look to the weekend which kicks off with two runners at the postponed Hobart Cup meeting on Friday evening.

Surpass is nicely primed for the 2400m of the feature event, Moroney noting that "this is the first time we've had him a race that really suits him this time in."

Whilst Bishops Castle who races in the Listed Thomas Lyons Stakes, strips fitter for an unlucky first up run where "he never got a go at them at any stage.”

Jake Noonan takes the ride on both horses.
[13 Feb 14]

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