It took a number of near misses before Moonlover broke through for her first city win.
But trainer Matt Laurie hopes the mare won’t have to wait long to land another success in the metropolitan arena.
Moonlover returns to Moonee Valley for Saturday’s Device Technologies Sprint (1200m) having won over the course and distance at her most recent start on June 2 when she covered ground in the run but still proved too good.
“I was pleasantly surprised,” Laurie said.
“The horse had had four seconds in town so she definitely deserved to win one.
“She does like that style of being able to sweep into it and the track really played to her strengths.
“It was a good effort.”
Moonlover carried 54.5kg last start in mares’ grade but goes up in weight in Saturday’s benchmark-78 race.
Laurie has booked 3kg claiming apprentice Liam Riordan to take Moonlover’s impost down to 57kg.
“I had to claim because she had 60 kilos but just from a quick browse I thought it was a race she could be pretty competitive in if she could hold her form from last start,” he said.
“I haven’t needed to do much with her between runs but she had a nice gallop on Tuesday morning on the course proper (at Mornington) and worked well. I’ve just tried to keep her up to the mark.”
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