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Promising three year old Muraaqeb will have a change of tactics and be ridden more quietly in the Listed $120,000 Essendon Nissan McKenzie Stakes (1200m) at The Valley on Saturday.

Bandipur, above, heads the market order for the McKenzie Stakes at The Valley. Photo by Jenny Barnes.

Bandipur, above, heads the market order for the McKenzie Stakes at The Valley. Photo by Jenny Barnes.

Lindsay Park co-trainer David Hayes will be instructing jockey Michael Walker to take a sit back in the field from barrier eight as Mark Zahra did at the colt’s first race start when he came from last to win a 1000m two year old plate at The Valley in February.

“When ridden cold at the Valley at his first start he was exceptional,” Hayes said.

“And then we rode him a bit closer a couple of times and he was serviceable.”

“So I think we will ride him the way we rode him in his first run and hopefully we will get his best form back but I am very happy with him the way he has been trialling.”

Since winning on debut Muraaqeb has been placed twice for a third in the Group 3 $300,000 Mercedes-Benz Canberra Black Opal Stakes (1200m) at Canberra on March 5 followed by a third  in the Listed $120,000 Ascend Sales Valley Pearl (1200m) at The Valley on March 24.

Muraaqeb is currently listed as a $7 chance for the McKenzie Stakes at Ladbrokes.com.au and the Lindsay Park Team of David and Ben Hayes and Tom Dabernig will also saddle up $12 drifter Tycoon Dancer who has drawn the rails with Luke Nolen booked to ride.

Tycoon Dancer has been to the races once for a win in an 1100m two year old plate at Caulfield on May 13 and Hayes has been pleased with his track work in the lead up to the McKenzie Stakes.

“Another one that has been trialling very well at Flemington,” Hayes said.

“He is a horse that doesn’t like the wet so we will keep an eye on the weather and unless the track is better than a six, he will be saved for Caulfield.”

The James Cummings trained Bandipur with Craig Williams in the saddle sits at the top of the market order at $3.90 at Ladbrokes.com.au for the McKenzie Stakes ahead of Azazel at $5.50 and Lone Eagle at $6.

Bandipur is the winner of two off his four race starts and is coming off a last start win in the Listed $100,000 Lightning Stakes (1050m) at Morphettville on July 29.

About The Author

Mark Mazzaglia

Mark is a passionate journalist with a life-time involvement in the racing industry. He spent many years as an analyst and form expert at the Courier Mail and also has hands-on experience working with some of Queensland’s top trainers.


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