Promising young Johannesburg three-year-old African Pulse looks on track for a Group 1 run this season, trainer Michael Moroney confident heading towards the 2012 Lightning Stakes after the up-and-comer’s Caulfield win last week.
An impressive winner at Flemington back on Melbourne Cup Day when defeating former Magic Millions Classic winner Kartua Queen in a 1000m Flemington sprint, African Pulse resumed at last Thursday’s Australia Day meeting.
Posting their third win from just four career starts, African Pulse defeated a smart field by a minimum quarter-length margin when taking out the $70,000 Bennison Mackinnon Real Estate Handicap (1000m).
Their ability to quicken when challenged by eventual runner-up Hot Spin pleased Moroney who admitted to recognising something special in the horse right from the start.
“He looked like he got a little big lazy but when Hot Spin got alongside him over the last bit he started to draw away,” Moroney said.
“He’s a typical colt, he loves a fight.
“He’s not an overly big horse but he has amazing talent.
“He always has right from day one.”
Moroney also said that he believed African Pulse’s record should read four from four, their only defeat being an unlucky one when they went down a mere nose to Jackpot Queen at Flemington back in May last year.
“He’s been beaten once but probably should have remained unbeaten,” Moroney said.
In an ambitious next-up assignment African Pulse will be put to the ultimate test as they prepare to face the likes of resuming champion Hay List and boom Brisbane galloper Buffering in the $750,000 Group 1 Lightning Stakes (1000m) at Flemington on February 18.
“He’s a very, very fast horse and really gifted and talented,” Moroney said.
“The Lightning (Stakes) will be his next run.”
Although a notable class rise for African Pulse, Moroney has the progressive galloper pegged as a sprint specialist and knows over a shorter distance they are hard to fault.
“He’s just a really good 1000 metre sprinter,” Moroney said.
“We had a bit of trouble with him in the spring.
“We had him against Sepoy in the Vain Stakes but he locked a stifle so we had to scratch him.
“Things were going wrong so we decided to give him a break but we still had time to get him ready for that one race on (Melbourne) Cup Day.
“We couldn’t find another race for him after that so we put him away to aim him for the autumn.”
Following the Lightning Stakes, African Pulse could also be stepped up in distance for the $1 million Group 1 Newmarket Handicap (1200m) at Flemington on March 3.
“I think 1200 metres will be ideal for him as well but he won’t get much past that,” Moroney said.
African Pulse is currently one of 72 sprinters making up the 2012 Newmarket Handicap nominations including undefeated queen Black Caviar, with first acceptances for the classic to be taken on February 21.
Bookmark us here at Races.com.au for all the up-to-date Melbourne Autumn Racing Carnival news and nominations.
Fancy a $400 bonus bet to kick off the new season on a high? Head to our preferred online bookmaker Luxbet now and quote the promo code BONUSBET when you make your initial deposit to have it matched 100% up to $400 as a bonus bet!