Trainer Mike Moroney is anticipating his smart three year old African Pulse will show enough improvement when he steps out at Flemington tomorrow to warrant his chance to compete in the major sprint races over the Melbourne Spring Carnival.
Moroney is expecting African Pulse to produce the form which saw him finish just over three lengths behind Hay List in the Group 1 $1m Lexus Newmarket Handicap (1200m) at Flemington in March and two and a half lengths behind Woorim in the Group 1 $400,000 Sportingbet Oakleigh Plate (1100m) at Caulfieldthe start before.
“He’s only got to improve a couple of lengths on his Newmarket run and he’s not going to be far off the better sprinters,” Moroney said.
African Pulse is having his first run back after two unplaced starts at Rosehill and Gosford where he was fifth to Pampelonne in the Listed $250,000 De Bortoli Wines Gosford Guineas (1200m) on April 22.
Moroney only gave the three year colt a short break and has elected to go with apprentice Harry Kasim’s 3 kilo claim to help African Pulse maintain his unbeaten first up record of three from three in the $70,000 Bob Skilton Handicap (1100m).
“Being a colt we couldn’t give him a long break so this is an ideal starting point for him,” Moroney said.
“One thing about him is he can get into open handicaps and get in reasonably at the weights with a claim so we’ll start off by doing that and see where we end up in the spring.”
“He only had four weeks out and he’s done about ten weeks work.”
Moroney is hoping with the absence of the injured Hay List in the Spring as well as Foxwedge being retired and the uncertainty of the racing future of Black Caviar, there could be an opportunity for an improving young sprinter to feature prominently in the Spring.
African Pulse heads the betting for the Bob Skilton Handicap at $3.10 but is being challenged for favouritism by the Mark Kavanagh trained Instalment who has firmed into $3.40 after some solid support.
Reports from the Flemington training tracks indicate that Instalment is primed to maintain his good fresh record with some solid track work sessions.
The Elvstroem three year old put in a strong performance in wining an 800m jumpout last Friday and then looked good on Thursday morning with an easy 1000m gallop.
Instalment hasn’t started since chalking up his third victory when narrowly winning the Listed $100,000 MSS Security Stakes (1100m) at Flemington on March 10 after being held for a run at a crucial stage between the 400m and the 200m.