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Spring is in the air

A definite touch of spring at Caulfield on Saturday where the stable is represented by the classy and consistent Mr Baritone in the day's feature event, the $200,000 Gr.2 Liston Stakes.
A game last start third in the Bletchingly Stakes, Mr Baritone strips all the fitter and Michael Moroney could not be happier with him.

"It's a good field but he is fit and well and this is his distance," he said.

A Gr.1 of last year's Stradbroke Handicap over the 1400m, Mr Baritone takes on some classy types in weight-for-age contest, but an edge in fitness should see him right in the thick of things.
Earlier in the day Abitofado contests the Legacy Badge Appeal Handicap. Whilst he is eligible for slightly lesser grade, Moroney is confident of another bold showing from the honest performer.

"A few of his rivals have been up a while," he said, "and his last run was very good. He is a good chance."

The third of the Moroney runners at Caulfield is the talented New Zealand mare Tootsie making her Australian debut.
Boasting an excellent strike rate of six wins from 14 starts, the daughter of Pins usually comes to hand quickly and Moroney is confident that she will be right in the mix.
"On her New Zealand form she has to be hard to beat," he said - pointing out that she is a Listed winner at the 1200m.
And if family form is a pointer, Tootsie has the right blood - her close relation Escadaire a stakes winner in Perth just last weekend. She can also boast amongst her relatives the big races winners Vision And Power and Glamour Puss.
Another very nice mare is Kyllaros who steps up to city grade at Sandown on Sunday. An impressive winner of her last couple, she looks a big chance to measure up.
"This field is a bit stronger than we anticipated," Moroney said, "but it will be a good test for her. She's still a bit new to the game but she has got a lot of ability."
Another two nice prospects at Cranbourne on Sunday, kicking off with debutant Itimio in the opening event - a 1200m maiden.
An $80,000 yearling purchase for OTI racing, the son of Flying Spur may prefer it a bit longer but he is showing promise.

"He is a nice big horse," said Moroney, "and he has got a bit of a future."

First up since the summer is Keeper Brown, his campaign kicking off in the sixth race over 1300m. Unfortunately he has drawn awkwardly - the outside gate of nine, but Moroney is very happy with the lightly raced son of Keeper.
"It is a tough draw for a horse who goes forward," he said, "but he is well forward for this race. He just needs a bit of luck."
Twice a winner from just six starts, Keeper Brown - a $48,000 Karaka yearling - is out of stakes winning Sir Tristram mare Queen's Choice, a full sister to the Gr.1 winners Sovereign Red, Trichelle and Grosvenor.
 
[14 Aug 09]

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