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Ballymore In Winning Form

It was a deserved victory by Air Striker (pictured) at Wangaratta on Sunday – the consistent four-year-old so game in the placings at his two previous outings.

Dropping back to 1400m, the son of Pentire began well for Regan Bayliss, taking a sit behind the leaders and getting out at the turn.

Second into the straight, Air Striker soon hit the lead, drawing clear from the 200m to win by ¾ length with plenty in hand.

A horse the stable have always had plenty of time for, Air Striker has been tried over longer trips – taking a bit of figuring out.

“We have worked him out now,” Michael Moroney said, confident that the gelding will continue to show his best over shorter journeys.

“He has always been a nice horse and we are hopeful that he can go right on with it now.”

Air Striker was a South Island Sale purchase for Paul Moroney, Paul remembering him as a “fast looking Pentire with lots of natural muscle.”

Another consistent Ballymore galloper in Mrs Hadlee was also in winning form at her latest outing last week.

Appreciating a drop in class after competitive city runs, the honest daughter of Hat Trick enjoyed a good run off the leaders – hitting the lead at the 200m and getting 1¼ lengths clear.

“She really deserved that,” Moroney said, noting that the grey improved with the removal of blinkers.

“She will keep on going and we will look at chasing some black type with her at some stage,” he said.

Hopefully the winning run can continue this week, kicking off with a couple of runners at Terang.

The first of those – the promising Church Boy – looks a top chance to break his maiden in the third event of the day.

Second to the stakes performed galloper Star Fashion at his most recent outing, the son of Iffraaj has plenty of ability but is still learning.

“He looks well placed,” Moroney said, “and I think the only thing that can beat him is if he races greenly.”

Later in the day Optimistic takes her place in the Wheatsheaf Hotel Handicap. The daughter of New Approach has been safely held at his first couple of starts so it is hard to be confident – but we are hoping that the addition of blinkers will see an improved showing.

We have just the one Sandown runner on Wednesday, Present Arms in the Hyland Race Colours Handicap over 1800m.

The consistent Zabeel gelding drops a little in distance with Moroney selecting the race as a suitable one for him to be tried in blinkers for the first time.

“Being a Zabeel the blinkers should really help,” he said – noting that Present Arms, who has been in the placings at two runs since a Seymour victory in early January, will not have to improve much to prove competitive.

[04 Mar 14]

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