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Country galloper Maroney Avenue gets the chance to bounce back from the first defeat of his career when he again tackles black-type company in the Listed 2013 Takeover Target Stakes (1200m) at Gosford on Thursday.
The Scone-based gelding was unbeaten from six starts prior to his city debut in the Carrington Stakes on New Year’s Day but had genuine excuses as he finished at the back of the field.
Maroney Avenue suffered cuts from striking himself coming around the first turn which affected his stride and he also struggled to cope with the pressure environment of his first metropolitan outing.
Trainer Rodney Northam is expecting a far better showing at Gosford, suggesting he will have learnt from the experience.
“He just didn’t cope so the experience out of it should help him,” Northam said.
Prior to his run in the Carrington Stakes, the son of Snitzel had been a dominant force at country and provincial tracks, winning at Scone, Taree, Gosford and Tamworth.
The five-year-old showed promising signs during a track gallop on Monday ahead of Thursday’s $100,000 race where he will be ridden by Robert Thompson from barrier five.
He is part of a 10-horse field that includes Gai Waterhouse-trained entire Rock ‘N’ Pop.
The former New Zealand galloper will be having his first start since August when he succumbed to injury in the Warwick Stakes.
Formerly trained by Jason Bridgman, the son of Fastnet Rock was a Group 1 winner in New Zealand in the 2000 Guineas and also placed in the Group 1 Darci Brahma International Stakes and the Group 1 New Zealand Derby.
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