African Pulse is at long odds ($41.00) to win the 2012 Newmarket Handicap but trainer Michael Moroney believes the promising colt will produce a much improved effort after a disappointing tenth-place finish in the Oakleigh Plate two weeks ago.
The three-year-old will run as equal lightest with Foxwedge at 50kg when he comes out of barrier 22 in Saturday’s $1 million Group 1 event.
Moroney said that jockey Lisa Moroney, who will ride African Pulse on Saturday, informed him after the race that the three-year-old could handle the step up to 1200 metres.
“In the Oakleigh Plate Lisa thought he raced like he wants further as he just didn’t quicken up like she thought he would,” he said.
“Dropping down to 50kg and the fact he has got such a good straight record is going to be a big help on Saturday but in big fields you just need a that bit of luck.”
African Pulse has recorded three victories from five starts but is yet to take top honours in a Group race.
Moroney said the colt’s preparation since the Oakleigh had been promising ahead of the nation’s most prestigious sprint.
“He has certainly trained on from the Oakleigh Plate and I can’t fault the horse so we are as confident as can be with it being a Group 1 race,” Moroney said.
It will be a special effort if the three-year-old can score an upset win with an unbelievable field of sprinters named to run in the prized event.
Hay List is the current bookmaker.com.au favourite ($3.20), with Bel Sprinter and Sydney star Rain Affair next best at $6.00.
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