An autumn campaign reschedule for Peter Moody’s boom three-year-old Moment Of Change has set up a scintillating three-race showdown, culminating with a Group 1 clash between the unbeaten galloper and last year’s Golden Rose winner Manawanui in next month’s 2012 Randwick Guineas.
Barley A Moment gelding Moment Of Change, purchased for a moderate $50,000 from the 2010 Magic Millions Perth Yearling Sales, was originally set to target the $750,000 Group 1 Australian Guineas (1600m) at Flemington on March 3.
Worried about rushing the lightly-raced and very promising youngster, however, connections have now made the decision to bypass Melbourne and focus solely on the Sydney Autumn Racing Carnival.
Moment Of Change has enjoyed the best possible start to their career winning their opening two starts with ridiculous ease.
On debut they blasted a moderate field by 10 lengths over 1200m at Murtoa before backing up to take out a 1300m handicap over a much higher class of competitors at Sandown on September 14 by four lengths.
They will be tested in elite level company this season with their new major assignment scheduled as the $500,000 Group 1 Randwick Guineas (1600m) on March 17, giving Moment Of Change two extra weeks to reach peak fitness.
The 2012 Randwick Guineas is also firmly on the radar for Ron Leemon’s $1.27 million earner Manawanui, the Oratorio gelding already a Group 1 winner thanks to their Golden Rose success last September.
Manawanui and Moment Of Change are likely to come face-to-face before the Randwick Guineas, however, both on the same three run autumn assault.
The duo are cheduled to resume racing in the $175,000 Group 2 Royal Sovereign Stakes (1200m) at Warwick Farm on February 18 before going second-up into the $200,000 Group 2 Hobartville Stakes (1400m) at Rosehill on March 3, the same day as the Australian Guineas takes centre stage in Victoria.
Showing they were ready to get back to race conditions, Moment Of Change worked well to finish second behind Group 1 performing stablemate Hallowell Belle in a 700m gallop at Caulfield earlier in the week.
“He’ll probably trial up there (in Sydney) in the next fortnight,” Jeff O’Connor, Moody’s stable manager, said.
“The Australian Guineas would be a bit rushed, so we’re going to look solely at the Sydney option.
“He’ll have three runs there: the Royal Sovereign, Hobartville and Randwick Guineas.
“We just needed to pull the plug in the spring.
“He just wasn’t ready, but he did a great job to get where he did.
“He just needed a bit more time, but he’s ready now.
“We tend to bring a lot of horses through the system and to us he’s just been one of them, so we haven’t quite had the big boom on him that everyone else had.
“But he’s gone through the grades and done the job.
“We look forward to going for bigger races with him.”
Meanwhile, with Moment Of Change out of Australian Guineas 2012 calculations the race looks to be easy pickings for Peter Snowden’s Caulfield Guineas winner Helmet who will then head off to begin an international racing career.
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