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Victoria’s Premiership winning trainer Peter Moody will on Saturday launch the spring campaigns of two of his promising three-year-olds at Moonee Valley, Huegill and Godspeed out to emulate their famous stablemate Anacheeva by winning the $100,000 Listed McKenzie Stakes (1200m) on way to the 2011 Caulfield Guineas.
Twelve months ago Anacheeva soared to the top of the 3YO-ranks in Melbourne by winning the McKenzie Stakes first-up for the season, before claiming the Caulfield Guineas Prelude – Caulfield Guineas double at their next two starts.
Moody will vie for back-to-back wins in the classic this Melbourne Spring Carnival having nominated six from his stable for the $1 million Group 1 Caulfield Guineas (1600m) on October 8.
Two of those Guineas candidates will come face to face on Saturday in the McKenzie Stakes and the to get behind them at the top price Luxbet is the place to go.
Of the two, More Than Ready colt Huegill is the best-backed in the early Caulfield Guineas odds paying $26.
Huegill has to date had just won run when they finished an eye-catching third behind Sepoy and Running Tall in the Group 3 Blue Diamond Prelude (1100m) at Caulfield back in February.
They make their return on Saturday, Moody confident their time in the paddock will see them come on ahead of the major spring features.
“I’ve got great belief in this colt,” Moody said of Huegill.
“He was placed behind Sepoy at his only run.
“I think he’s going to measure up in Group races and in a very short space of time.”
Then there is the highly-spruiked Godspeed, who Moody still has faith in despite the $1.87 million yearling remaining a maiden after their opening three career starts.
Despite their immaculate breeding and potential, Godspeed’s failure to live up their boom status as yet has seen them installed as an $81 roughie in the Caulfield Guineas futures odds.
Moody will also be represented at Moonee Valley on Saturday by his Blue Diamond Stakes runner-up, smart Starcraft filly Hallowell Belle in the $100,000 Listed Arrow Training Services Plate (1200m).
This year’s McKenzie Stakes attracted 23 nominations with other notable entries including Group 2 winner Running Tall, the David Hayes-trained Niconoise and Starcraft gelding Secret Hills.
Secret Hills is one of two McKenzie Stakes entries for Caulfield-based trainer Mick Price who also nominated Costly Commitment.
The pair both feature in the Caulfield Guineas 2011 nominations and betting markets, Secret Hills a $51 chance while Costly Commitment is a triple figure outsider paying $101.
“I have got a good opinion of both horses,” Price said.
Secret Hills opened their career with a disappointing eighth place finish when beaten 11 lengths by star colt Sepoy in the Listed Blue Diamond Colts & Geldings Preview (1000m) at Caulfield in January.
Spelled after that run, Price got Secret Hills gelded and they returned four months later to win a 1000 metre maiden at Bendigo before their last-start victory.
In a promising display, Secret Hills most recently defeated a strong field by an easy four lengths over 1200 metres at Moonee Valley on June 18 and Price is looking forward to getting them back to the track.
“Forget his first run because he was a very distracted colt on the day so he got gelded and since then his form has been very good,” Price said.
As for Costly Commitment, the well-bred Encosta De Lago colt from Octagonal mare Mutate has had just one run for one win to date and has the potential to be competitive if accepted for Saturday’s McKenzie Stakes.
They are, however, more likely to be saved for a $50,000 three-year-old race at Seymour on Sunday.
Costly Commitment and Secret Hills are also long-shot entries for the lucrative $3 million Group 1 Cox Plate (2040m), the weight-for-age showpiece to run at Moonee Valley on October 22.
Cox Plate 2011 betting odds at Luxbet have the duo as $101 roughies.
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