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Rose Blooms!

Michael Moroney was comparing exciting filly Alaskan Rose to one of his best after her dominant victory in Saturday's Montague Tree Handicap at Caulfield.

"Probably the best filly I've ever had was Happyanunoit and this filly could be as good," he said - "she is very similar."

That is some compliment, Happyanunoit an outstanding galloper, the winner of nine of her 21 starts including four Group One races in New Zealand and the United States.

A filly who has shown herself to be above average from day one, Alaskan Rose is a professional who has done everything right at her first two starts - and jockey Stephen Arnold is impressed.

"She relaxes well off a moderate tempo and she has got a turn of foot," he said - "that will win you a lot of races."

Moroney admits to a feeling of relief after the race, noting that "she has always been a smart filly and when you train those sort of horses you feel that little bit of pressure."

There was not a great deal of pressure during the race however, Alaskan Rose travelling sweetly in fourth position, pulling out at the 300m and drawing clear from the 50m to win by 1 1/4 lengths with plenty in hand.

Moroney is looking forward to Alaskan Rose's spring challenges, the next of which will be the 1000 Guineas Prelude at Caulfield on September 26, a lead up to the Gr.1 1000 Guineas on October 10.

"We have got to go a little bit further now but the way she relaxes it looks like she will cope with that," he said.

Alaskan Rose has a month between runs now, Moroney pleased with the timing.

“She is pretty ready now, condition wise. So I think now is the time to give her a little freshen up and head her towards her grand final."

Bred by Gerry Harvey, Alaskan Rose is a daughter of champion stallion Encosta de Lago and the lightly raced Redoute's Choice mare Saskia.

Third in a city maiden at the first of only three starts, and tried in stakes company before producing Alaskan Rose as her first foal, Saskia is now in New Zealand where she has been mated to Reliable Man.

A daughter of the Wakeful Stakes winner Quays, Saskia is a half-sister to the Listed winner Quayside and her grandam is the Flight Stakes winner Pontal Lass, also second dam of the two times Group winner Charlie Boy.

Thanks to Grant Courtney for the winning photo.

[31 Aug 15]

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