Leading Victorian trainer Peter Moody yesterday enjoyed watching another one of his three Caulfield Guineas 2011 entries storm to an impressive Sandown victory, Huegill repeating the success of stablemate Moment Of Change from last Wednesday at the track.
A week ago the spotlight was on Moody’s explosive gelding Moment Of Change who took their record to two wins from as many starts with an emphatic and effortless four length win in the Hyland Race Colours Handicap (1300m).
Seven days later Moody was back in the winner’s stall at Sandown with his improving More Than Ready colt Huegill who became a two-time winner with a quality one and a quarter victory in the PFD Food Services Handicap (1400m) over the Anthony Freedman-trained Rescue Mission.
“He got no favours,” Moody said of Huegill’s wide run.
“He got pushed off the track down the hill and around the turn, so he balanced up good.
“He’s a very good colt, he’s still learning what it’s all about, but there are good races in him.”
The win came one start after Huegill broke their maiden status at Cranbourne on September 4, winning a 1200 metre sprint by an easy six lengths.
Despite Wednesday’s win, Huegill may still miss out on their Group 1 chance this season with Moody yet to confirm they will continue onto the $1 million Caulfield Guineas (1600m) on October 8, the respected horseman keen to see how the top Guineas contenders go this weekend before committing his runners.
“Whether he’s mature enough in the brain to be going to the Caulfield Guineas is questionable but what will make that decision easier is seeking these other horses run,” Moody said.
Moody has scheduled a run at Flemington on Turnbull Stakes Day Sunday week, October 2, in the $150,000 Listed Poseidon Stakes (1400m) before deciding on whether to spell Huegill in preparation for the autumn or whether to keep them going for the Caulfield Guineas.
“He should be going to a Listed race at Flemington on Sunday week and then probably going to the paddock because he’s the sort of horse who could win the Australian Guineas in the autumn,” Moody said.
Second declarations for the 2011 Caulfield Guineas were taken on Tuesday with just 37 three-year-olds left vying for a spot in the capacity 16-starter plus four emergency final field.
Among the hopefuls are three from Moody’s stables with Moment Of Change, Huegill and his Group 3 winning son of Rock Of Gibraltar Golden Archer.
Of the trio Moment Of Change is the shortest-priced in the Caulfield Guineas odds at Luxbet, the spruik three-year-old installed as the $5.50 second favourite behind Anthony Cummings’ Golden Rose runner-up Smart Missile ($3.40).
Moment Of Change will get the chance to maintain their flawless record Friday week in the $200,000 Group 2 Bill Stutt Stakes (1600m) under the lights at Moonee Valley’s Manikato Stakes night.
Smart Missile, meanwhile, will look to break their Group 1 duck this Saturday when they take on a crack field of older rivals in the $350,000 Group 1 Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield, but they have a tough test ahead after drawing the ‘visitor’s gate’ with barrier 17 of 17.
“If Smart Missile wins from there I don’t think there’s sens taking him on in the Guineas,” Moody conceded.
Also racing at Caulfield on Saturday to improve their Caulfield Guineas credentials is Golden Archer.
With Huegill at a Caulfield Guineas quote of $26 through Luxbet, Golden Archer is the longest-priced of Moody’s Guineas’ chances paying a very generous $41.
Although the mile is a query, this is still a very nice price for an obviously talented and progressive colt that won the Group 3 H.D.F. McNeil Stake (1200m) at Caulfield last-start on August 27.
Prior to that Golden Archer was far from disgraced when racing a first-up second behind superstar Sepoy in the Vain Stakes (1100m).
This Saturday Golden Archer will run against a quality field including the Peter Snowden-trained Helmet, also heading towards next month’s classic, in the $175,000 Group 3 Caulfield Guineas Prelude (1400m).
“I think we’ll learn a bit more about the supposed superstars this weekend, how they cope with the Melbourne form,” Moody said speaking of classy Sydney raiders Helmet and Smart Missile who are yet to race in Victoria.
“They might be better than us, which means we probably wouldn’t want to go to the Guineas, but if they’re cream puff champions we might have to have a crack.”
To get behind Moody’s Caulfield Guineas trio either in their next-up races or in the futures betting for the big event, you’ll find the best odds online at Luxbet.