Racing: Resolution may make amends

By James Graham

Resolution's one-win record is not the only misleading statistic beside the emerging star's name at Ellerslie tomorrow.

Co-trainer Paul Moroney is adamant the Don Ha City of Auckland Cup lightweight would have won the group one Avondale Cup with a clear run last time out.

Just when rider Lisa Cropp was getting the long-strider warmed-up, the gap she desperately needed outside the tiring pacemaker Gaze closed.

Resolution's effort to pick himself up and run third to winner Spin Around and runner-up Overkaast, rivals again tomorrow, had Cropp in raptures on dismounting.

"She got off the horse and said he's potentially the best young stayer in New Zealand and she wanted to stay on for as long as she can," said Moroney, who trains in partnership with brother Mike.

Even at the expense of an in-form Chettak, who was better fancied on the TAB's fixed odds City of Auckland Cup market yesterday at $9, compared with Resolution's $14 quote.

Moroney knows his one-win enigma will need to improve again. The group two 2400m feature is one of the strongest and most even staying contests he can remember in recent years.

But he's pretty sure that the Pentire 4-year-old has.

Astute trackwork judge, rider Michael Coleman, gave Moroney the thumbs up after watching Resolution gallop alongside his mount Tinseltown on Saturday.

"He's right up to the mark and I'm expecting a big run," said Moroney.

The rotten Avondale Cup luck aside, everything is falling into place for Team Moroney and Resolution so far.

They've snuck him into one of two major targets this campaign, the other is the Auckland Cup in March at the bottom of the handicap, and he's finally striking a distance that suits.

At three, he ran an unlucky fifth in the Mercedes Derby over the same distance and was tripped up by a soft track when a close-up fourth in the Queensland Derby in June.

Just half a dozen or so starts before those efforts, Resolution finished second-last on debut at Gisborne, 10 lengths from the winner.

Even his maiden win at Te Rapa three starts later failed to set the world on fire.

The nearest chaser that day, Sirius, is still struggling to quit dunce class 15 attempts later; the latest for a distant seventh at Gore last week.

But Moroney says the improvement in the horse with one of the best actions in the stable has been nothing short of astounding.

The only tricky part lately has been ensuring he sneaks into the right races with the right weight.

For all his natural untapped staying ability, Moroney says the handicapper will put the handbrake on Resolution's rise quicker than most.

"He doesn't race like a small horse; he's got a lovely stride on him.

"But he's not overly big and we've been mindful of that," said Moroney.

"For him to be a big chance in big races for a long time we have to sneak him into these races with no weight on his back."

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