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Confidence about Marheta

By Glenn Davis
BRISBANE, May 21 AAP - Trainer Michael Moroney is confident Marheta can join his growing list of winter carnival success stories in the Group Three Doomben Roses on Saturday.
Moroney has been coming to Queensland for a number of years, initially from his former headquarters in New Zealand and now from his Flemington base in Melbourne.
He landed his biggest victory in Queensland two years ago when Mr Baritone won the Group One Stradbroke Handicap at Eagle Farm, 12 months after his star filly Eskimo Queen won at the elite level in the Queensland Oaks on the same track.
Galroof also came over from New Zealand and was an unlucky runner-up at Group One level in both the Doomben Cup and Queensland Derby in 2002.
Moroney is eyeing another Queensland Oaks (2400m) on June 5 with Marheta and hasn't ruled out including her in the Queensland Derby at Eagle Farm on June 12.
"I haven't ruled out running her in the Derby but it depends how she goes in her next two runs," he said.
Moroney has been pleasantly surprised with Marheta since she finished a courageous second to Femina Fashion in the Listed Gold Coast Bracelet (1800m) last start.
"There's not much of her but she's done well since the Gold Coast run," Moroney said.
Moroney, who has based his winter team at Caloundra, north of Brisbane, has noticed a marked improvement in Marheta's eating habits.
"She's normally not a good eater but she has been since she's been in Queensland," he said.
"I thought her run in the Gold Coast Bracelet was very good.
"She was three wide and was left out on a limb at one stage so her rider had to go forward on her.
"I think she would have tested the winner with a better run."
Jockey Mark Zahra, who rode Marheta in the Gold Coast Bracelet, will again partner her in the 2020-metre Doomben Roses.
Long-term Moroney is thinking of a Caulfield and Melbourne Cups campaign with Marheta who has won two of her eight starts.
Moroney already has a Melbourne Cup courtesy of with Brew who was successful 10 years ago.
He believes the only similarity between Marheta and Eskimo Queen is their size.
"They're different horses and the only similarities they share is they're both tiny," he said.
Eskimo Queen won the Queensland Oaks convincingly but later fell in the Queensland Derby before going on to win the Group One Coolmore Classic (1500m) at Rosehill in 2008.
Moroney has a team of 10 horses in work at Caloundra but will soon add Monaco Consul, Divine Rebel and Skiddaw Peak who will all winter in Queensland ahead of their spring campaigns.
He also saddles up Mr Baritone in Saturday's Group Three BRC Sprint (1350m) and last-start Flemington winner Sophrosyne in the Group Three Fred Best Classic (1350m).

AAP TURF
[21 May 10]

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