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Murdoch Duo Set To Fire At Awapuni
Cox Plate-winning trainer Moira Murdoch will chase a Group race double at Awapuni this weekend, reports NZ Racing Desk. The Waiuku conditioner will produce Gr3 Eclipse Stakes winner Marky Mark in the Gr1 Manawatu Sires' Produce Stakes (1400m) and progressive stayer King Krovanh in the Gr2 Awapuni Gold Cup (2000m). "He's (Marky Mark) in good order for his first trip away. I'm really happy with him," Murdoch said. "It will be his first race left-handed but that won't be any issue because he's trialled at Rotorua and if you can run well at Rotorua you should be able to run well at Awapuni. And he's got a nice draw." A debut winner at Ellerslie in December, Marky Mark won the Eclipse Stakes at Ellerslie on New Year's Day before finishing fourth to Dal Cielo in the Gr1 Diamond Stakes at Ellerslie earlier this month after cornering awkwardly and llosing momentum at a crucial stage. Given his pedigree, Murdoch is confident her charge will run out a strong 1400m. "He's certainly got the genetics to do it," she said. "You always go into a Gr1 race just being pleased you are in there but we expect him to run right up to his ability. He was only a couple of lengths off them in the Diamond Stakes and that was after losing that ground on the bend. Take that away and he's right in the mix." Meanwhile, Fastnet Rock gelding King Krovanh leapt into Awapuni Gold Cup contention with a smart last-start win over 1600m at Ellerslie and Murdoch, who races the 5YO with his breeder Gene Tsoi, expects him to be competitive again. "The 2000m will suit him now and he's nicely placed at the weights. He'll run a good race. It's not out of his reach at all," said Murdoch, who produced subsequent Cox Plate winner Solvit to win the Manawatu Classic on the corresponding day in 1993.