Trainer Mike Moroney is prepared to forgive African Pulse's Oakleigh Plate defeat in the hope that weight relief and the straight track will improve him in the Newmarket Handicap at Flemington today.
Moroney expected the 3-year-old to run better than 10th in the 1100m Caulfield sprint two weeks ago but after analysing sectional times believes he might have "gassed" himself on the hot pace.
Notably, the winner Woorim and runner-up Elite Falls swooped from last and second last respectively, giving merit to African Pulse's 2-length defeat.
"I was a little bit disappointed but he didn't get an easy run posted three wide facing the breeze," Moroney said. The winner of three of his five starts, African Pulse has always impressed Moroney and drops from 52kg in the Oakleigh Plate to 50kg in the Newmarket.
His only two starts at Flemington have featured a victory over flying filly Karuta Queen during Melbourne Cup Week and a second to Jackpot Queen wsporten beaten in a photo-finish.
The Oakleigh Plate was his longest race so far but jockey Lisa Cropp told Moroney that he was ready for the 1200m.
Topweight Hay List remains $3.80 favourite ahead of Bel Sprinter ($6.50) and Foxwedge ($7.50).