In a fairytale story that is beginning to emulate that of 2007 Caulfield Guineas winner Weekend Hussler, yesterday at Sandown Peter Moody’s boom three-year-old Moment Of Change claimed another impressive victory which has seen their priced slashed in the 2011 Caulfield Guineas odds.
Barley A Moment gelding Moment Of Change hit the headlines back on August 27 when they scored an emphatic 10 length victory on debut at Murtoa, coming within a tick of the track record over the 1200 metres.
On Wednesday Moody gave Moment Of Change their maiden metropolitan start at Betfair Park Sandown in the $30,000 Hyland Race Colours Handicap (1300m), the same race former champion thoroughbred Weekend Hussler recorded a commanding eight length victory in on way to their Caulfield Guineas win four years ago.
With the hype over Moment Of Change ($1.70F) at fever pitch, the emerging star did everything right from start to finish, cruising to an easy three and three quarter length victory over the Danny O’Brien-trained Meethaq ($17) while Byron Cozamanis’ improving colt Vatican ($8.50) finished a further length away third.
Jockey Linda Meech was happy to have snared another ride with Luke Nolen serving suspension, saying that Moment Of Change was far from his best or from hitting top gear in the run.
Despite the imposing win, trainer Moody was hesitant to confirm plans of going to the $1 million Group 1 Caulfield Guineas (1600m) on October 8 with the untapped galloper, saying because of his size and being so soon into their first preparation, conditions may not be ideal.
2011 Caulfield Guineas Odds
Futures all-in betting showing top 24 horses.
“We’ve got a good opinion of the horse but he’s big and green, he’s far from a push button horse,” Moody said.
“I think he’s got a lot of potential, but he’s just such a big, raw horse.”
Although Moody was yet to be convinced this year’s Caulfield Guineas was the right race for Moment Of Change, he is certain they will develop into a Group One horse one day.
“I think he’s in the top bracket but whether it’s this time in or next I don’t know,” he said.
“It’d be a big ask to get a horse to go to the Guineas first prep.
“We’re not busting a gut to run him in the Caulfield Guineas.
“There are a couple of Guineas in the autumn – the Australian Guineas and the Randwick Guineas.
“If he went home tonight and threw up the white flag, he’s straight in the paddock.”
Managing owner Rob Slade of Slade Bloodstocks was over the moon with Moment Of Change’s performance yesterday, and although thrilled with the prospect of having found a potential elite level winner, he said he would trust in the opinion of Moody and not push for the Caulfield Guineas.
“Peter G Moody has the trainers’ licence, not me,” Slade said.
Looking at a next-up run for Moment Of Change, Moody confirmed they would not go via the
$175,000 Group 3 Caulfield Guineas Prelude (1400m) on September 24 saying that running the horse over seven furlongs around Caulfield would be too much too soon.
“It’s too soon at Caulfield against more experienced horses again,” Moody said.
Moody did, however, name the $200,000 Group 2 Bill Stutt Stakes (1600m) at Moonee Valley on September 30 on the Manikato Stakes 2011 race night as a possible option, also saying he wouldn’t rule out another restricted race.
“If we went in the deep end it would probably be the Stutt Stakes at Moonee Valley, or I wouldn’t even rule out another ratings race.”
This didn’t stop the bookmakers slashing their price on Moment Of Change in the 2011 Caulfield Guineas betting futures.
Pre-yesterday’s win, Moment Of Change sat as the $9 fourth-favourite for the Guineas at Australia’s premier online bookmaker Luxbet.
Luxbet have since firmed their price on the horse, Moment Of Change now the equal $7 second elect with Peter Snowden’s two-time Group 1 winning colt Helmet.
Anthony Cummings’ unlucky Golden Rose runner-up, the formerly undefeated Smart Missile, retains their spot at the top of the Caulfield Guineas 2011 odds at $4 though Luxbet.
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