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Anzac Day at Flemington

Flemington’s traditional Anzac Day meeting is always a strong one and this year is no exception. And Ballymore looks forward to being a part of it with four nice prospects lining up at headquarters.

The first of those is the exciting Merion who contests the Listed Anzac Day Stakes.

Impressive when saluting in easy fashion at his Bendigo debut, the O’Reilly gelding has always been well regarded.

“He is a pretty promising horse,” Michael Moroney said, adding that the two-year-old has “trained on really well.”

“He is nicely drawn (barrier 4) and has got a lot in his favour. It will be interesting to see how he measures up stepping up to city class.”

Rhythm To Spare (pictured), who disappointed in a couple of Sydney runs – striking heavy tracks – returns home to take his place in the Peter Armytage Handicap.

“He travelled back nicely and we can see no reason why his form was so poor in Sydney – we just hope it was the ground.”

“Back to Flemington from a good draw (barrier 5) he should prove hard to beat.”

Freshened a little since her last run – a Cranbourne victory last month, Jemerica races in the Long Tan Handicap.

The lightly raced and promising Captain Rio filly is having her first run down the Flemington straight but Moroney is confident of a bold showing.

“So long as she does everything right at her first go down the straight she should prove competitive,” he said, adding that the three-year-old has “improved since her last run.”

Import Court Pastoral is the fourth of our Flemington quartet and we are looking forward to seeing what the mare – one who Moroney describes as “a really lovely type” – can do in the Kokoda Trail Handicap.

“She has a pretty good record in England and we got her as a lightly raced, progressive sort.”

“She won an 800m jump-out here nicely recently and the mile should be ideal for her first up.”

“She has settled in really well here and we expect her to run really well first up.”

Stable newcomer Deckhand makes his debut for us at Newcastle on Saturday, racing for the first time since late January.

“He has been in Sydney for four weeks and has trialled nicely. He is a stayer but this is a nice starting point for him and it would be no surprise to see him run a good race.”

Over to Sale on Sunday where we will be cheering on Nordic Duke and Point Made.

The former will, Moroney reported, be suited by “some give in the ground” and is expected – after a fast finishing third at the same track last time out – to “again prove competitive.”

Racing in the Showcase event over 1621m Nordic Duke boasts consistent form and is all the better when there is a bit of rain about.

Point Made meanwhile is back in Victoria after a couple of unsuccessful New South Wales campaigns but we are hoping he can get back to his best form.

“Hopefully returning to this way of going will make a difference,” said Moroney, adding that the five-year-old is “fairly forward for his first up run.”

[24 Apr 14]

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