Murwillumbah trainer Matthew Dunn is looking...
Australian racing’s newest excitement machine is Moment Of Change, Peter Moody’s Caulfield Guineas 2011 hopeful set to back up from their devastating win on debut with a second career start at Sandown Lakeside today.
A well-bred three-year-old son of Barley A Moment from Metal Storm mare Europium, Moment Of Change caught the eye of racing enthusiasts and experts around the country when they stepped out at Murtoa for their first official start on August 27.
The gelding won that day by 10 lengths over 1200 metres, a feat made even more impressive by the fact they finished in 1:09.83, just a fraction outside of the track record of 1:09.71 set by Swept Past in October of 2006.
“It was the time (that made the win so impressive),” syndicate owner-manager Rob Slade said of Moment Of Change’s maiden.
“He effectively won by 10 lengths, but he finished a tick outside the track record.
“For a horse to do that out of his first start….it says it all doesn’t it.”
Straight away the tongue-wagging started in the racing circles, Moment Of Change emerging as a genuine spring classics contender for the $11 million Group 1 Caulfield Guineas (1600m) on October 8.
“He’s certainly got everyone talking after that performance,” Slade said.
“We’d always had a wrap on the horse and liked the horse but we’ve taken our time with him, he hasn’t been pushed.”
Today connections will discover just how good Moment Of Change really is when they line-up for the $30,000 Hyland Race Colours Handicap (1300m), Sandown Race 2.
Due to jump from barrier four with Linda Meech engaged for the ride, stable jockey Luke Nolen on suspension, Moment Of Change faces a far superior field than they did on debut which means how they perform today will give a far better indication of where the horse is at in regards to a Caulfield Guineas 2011 start.
“His work’s been terrific and has been enhanced since his win,” Slade said.
“He certainly hasn’t gone backwards that’s for sure.
“He looks to be improving all the time.”
While Slade goes into today’s race and beyond with an air of quiet confidence, Victoria’s premier horseman Peter Moody still needs to be convinced that Moment Of Change is a Group One horse.
“He’s won a maiden at Murtoa, so I’m not buying into the hype at this stage,” Moody said.
“The hype is created by other people, not me.
“He seems to be a very nice horse in the making, but this is another step up.
“We think he’s a nice horse, but he’s still got a long way to go.
“He’s a big, raw, green horse with it all ahead of him.”
Leading online bookmaker Luxbet have Moment Of Change as the clear-cut $1.55 favourite in the Sandown Race 2 odds today where they will come face-to-face with a field full of other Caulfield Guineas nominees.
One of the biggest dangers in the field looks to be the Byron Cozamanis-trained Vatican, the God’s Own colt coming off a close third behind Moment Of Change’s stablemate Golden Archer in the Group 3 H.D.F. McNeil Stakes (1200m).
“I’m happy with the way he’s done (since Murtoa),” Moody said of Moment Of Change.
“But Vatican’s got form around Golden Archer and those horses, so I think it’s a good race and we’re certainly not going in cock-a-hoop.”
The other 2011 Caulfield Guineas entries looking to emulate the mighty Weekend Hussler who won this race by a colossal eight lengths on way to their 2007 Caulfield Guineas success include the Robert Hickmott-trained O’Reilly gelding from Zabeel mare Laebeel Collar, David Hayes’ Redoute’s Choice colt Almahaab, and the Danny O’Brien-trained Al Maher three-year-old Meethaq.
Following today’s assignment, so long as Moment Of Change does what he is being tipped to do, they will be given one final preparatory run before heading into the 2011 Caulfield Guineas.
“There’s a plan in place (to get him to the Guineas),” Slade said.
“He’ll head to Flemington on Turnbull Stakes Day (Sunday October 2) for a 1400 metres Listed race for three-year-olds.
“Then we’ll head to the Guineas six days later after
“That’s the plan and we’ll all be out trying to prove that.”
The Turnbull Stakes Day event Slade refers to is the $150,000 Listed Poseidon Stakes (1400m).
Caulfield Guineas 2011 betting markets at Luxbet are currently lead by Anthony Cummings’ star colt Smart Missile ($4) who was unlucky not to maintain their undefeated status when narrowly defeated in the Golden Rose in Sydney.
Helmet is next in the Caulfield Guineas odds at a quote of $6.50, the Peter Snowden-trained son of Exceed And Excel already a dual Group 1 winner from their juvenile season that included an elite level win over the mile in the Champagne Stakes at Randwick.
Golden Rose winner Manawanui is the third favourite after having their Caulfield Guineas price slashed into $7.50 following their gritty all the way victory last Saturday.
The only other Caulfield Guineas entry at a single-figure price to win next month’s showdown is Moment Of Change who despite having had just one run, is at $9 through Luxbet.
If they live up to their obvious potential today and win, that price is sure to shorten making now the time to get behind Moment Of Change in the Caulfield Guineas futures betting at Luxbet.
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