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MORONEY TARGETS ATC DERBY WITH SAVILE ROW

Mike Moroney believes he can continue the winning run of Kiwi three-year-olds in the Australia's richest derby in Sydney in April with his emerging colt Savile Row.

New Zealand three-year-olds have taken three of the past four ATC Derbys at Randwick, with Tavago's win last year preceded by Mongolian Khan in 2015 and It's A Dundeel in 2013, and Moroney said on Wednesday that he believed his colt had the potential to match those performances.

"We've been mindful of the derby in Sydney all along and so we've decided to give him as light a preparation as we can into the New Zealand Derby and so this is a very important race coming up for him on Saturday," Moroney said.

The important race Moroney referred to is Saturday's $400,000 weight-for-age Group 1 Herbie Dyke Stakes over 2000 metres at Te Rapa.

"One of the reasons we're putting him up against open age on Saturday is that there is not a great depth of weight-for-age horses in New Zealand at the moment and the timing of the race fits nicely," he said.

"We decided that we didn't want to go the usual path of the Waikato Guineas last week and then the Avondale Guineas because he's had two trips away already to Riccarton for the 2000 Guineas and Wellington for his last one so we just think that if we want to get him to Sydney, this path should be the best."

Comparisons have been made between Savile Row and the trainer's former star Xcellent, but Moroney said that while the pair shared a similar ability, they are vastly different horses.

"I think he possibly has similar ability but Xcellent was a totally different horse," Moroney said. "We were still trying to cuddle him in his four-year-old year even but this one is a powerful colt.

"He's got ability and he's a tough sort of horse."

Savile Row and the Murray Baker-trained Jon Snow are the only three-year-olds in the $400,000 Herbie Dyke Stakes, but Moroney has won the race (when known as the International Stakes) in the past with horses of that age - Great Command in 1997 and Mission Critical 2008.

"Three-year-olds can run well in the race and he's a good three-year-old and we're looking forward to stepping him up to 2000m," Moroney said.

"He's got a reasonably stout overseas family and he's a relaxed sort of colt so I think he'll get the distance without much trouble."

CrownBet have rated Savile Row a $9 chance and third favourite for next month's New Zealand Derby behind Victoria Derby runner-up Sacred Elixir at $5 and Baker's emerging stayer Camino Rocoso at $6.50.

Savile Row remains safe in the ATC Derby market also. CrownBet opened him up at $17 with Sacred Elixir and Victoria Derby winner Prized Icon sharing the top line at $12.

-racing.com

[09 Feb 17]

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