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Spring Is In The Air!

There has been a definite touch of spring in the air in Melbourne this week – the blossoms are out, the sun is shining and the good horses are making their way back to the track.

Strong meetings in Melbourne and Sydney are a treat for racing fans on Saturday and we are looking forward to saddling up four runners at the Moonee Valley meeting and another at Randwick.

Kicking off our busy day is Flashy Fella who contests the second event at Moonee Valley, the Fruit Supply Handicap.

A game Warracknabeal Cup second two starts ago, the handsome chestnut was last at his most recent Moonee Valley outing but was not really suited in a five-horse field.

“It was a funny run race,” Michael Moroney explained, “and he ended up in the worst spot – held up on the rails when the speed went on.”

“He strips all the fitter fourth up and on his track work he is hard to beat.”
Glen Boss takes the ride on Flashy Fella who is a two times winner at the 2000m.

Next up is the tough and honest Devonshire Duke in the fourth race, the Chandler McLeod Handicap.

Allotted topweight of 62kg, the in-form six-year-old enjoys a 2kg claim from apprentice Damien Thornton who has a good affinity with the last start Bendigo winner.

“We are well aware that this is his third run in a row on firmish ground,” Moroney warned, “and we will see how much longer he can cope with that.”

“We did have him in at Warwick Farm next week but are worried that with the Sydney rain that meeting might not take place – and the Strathayr does have a cushion which suits him.”

“So long as he has luck in running and does not feel the track too much he is a live chance again.”

Highly talented three-year-old Merion (pictured) – our leading Caulfield Guineas contender – resumes in the feature event of the day, the Listed Mitchell McKenzie Stakes.

Winning his first two, including the Listed Anzac Day Stakes, in impressive fashion over the autumn, the son of O’Reilly has matured nicely although is – Moroney said “a bit burly to look at.”

“He has a tricky draw and he will improve on whatever he does but this is a nice starting point for him and he is a very smart horse.”

African Pulse is the last of our Moonee Valley quartet, due to take his place in the eighth race, the Listed Carlyon Stakes.

“He ran a far better race last start,” Moroney said, noting that the talented but troubled sprinter was a game third at Moonee Valley second up three weeks ago.

“He is up in class with a tricky draw but he does like Moonee Valley and he strips fitter.”

Meanwhile in Sydney we have Surpass nicely placed in the Randwick City Mayor’s Cup which is the second race on the card.

“We have finally got a wet track for him,” Moroney said, noting that the six-year-old has won three races on slow or heavy tracks.

“And it is the right distance too, he will be hard to beat.”

A quieter day awaits on Sunday but we are looking forward to the debut of Buck Rogers in the 3Y0 Maiden Plate at Bendigo.

A beautifully bred son of Northern Meteor from the family of Encosta de Lago and Flying Spur, Buck Rogers is, says Moroney “a very nice horse in the making.
“He will improve over whatever he shows over 1100m which may prove a bit too short for him, but we do expect him to run well – he is one of our better unraced three-year-olds.”

[22 Aug 14]

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TUESDAY AT TE AROHA
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