31st August 2020 Spring contenders impress Moroney

Adam McGrath

With Alabama Express now at stud following his success in the autumn, Mike Moroney is looking to his next crop of runners to see who can join Tofane as serious spring contenders.

The Flemington-based trainer is confident that he will have multiple contenders at the business end of spring, three of them having jumped out at Flemington on Friday.

Mornington Cup winner Aktau is one of those gallopers and Moroney believes he has shown good improvement since spelling.

"He has improved both physically and mentally," Moroney said.

"He had a solid gallop today and finished off strongly.

"It's his second jumpout of the preparation and we certainly noticed improvement.

"He'll run first-up in the Group 1 Makybe Diva Stakes with our aim being the Caulfield and Melbourne Cup."

Buffalo River and Harlech are both expected to go on a similar path through the early part of the spring and have pleased the stable.

"Buffalo River was good, he was in a quick heat and he wasn't as sharp as them," he said.

"He'll head towards the Group 1 Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield."

Harlech will also step out in the Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes and Moroney is excited to see what the former Kiwi galloper can achieve in Australia.

"His Group 1 form in New Zealand is very strong," he said.

"He'll go to the 1400m and then see about the Group 1 Toorak Handicap (1600m) and the Group 1 Cox Plate (2040m).

"He's a gorgeous horse and he wasn't quite at his best in New Zealand, I think he'll make it here in Australia."

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