Try as he might, Peter Moody is going to find it harder and harder to keep a lid on the hype surrounding the return of his unbeaten three-year-old Moment Of Change after the boom 2012 Randwick Guineas-bound youngster won their Rosehill trial this morning, as did Golden Rose winner and fellow Guineas hope Manawanui.
A son of Barley A Moment out of Metal Storm mare Europium, Moment Of Change was having their first official hitout since their stunning four length win over Meethaq in the Hyland Race Colours Handicap (1300m) at Sandown on September 14.
That was Moment Of Change’s second start and second win adding to a flawless 10 length victory on debut over 1200m at Murtoa in August.
At Rosehill this morning Moment Of Change held on in a tight finish over Gerald Ryan’s Group 2 winner Hot Snitzel to salute in their 900m trial in a time of blistering 53.24 seconds, the fastest of the morning.
The time was 1.16 seconds quicker than Peter Snowden’s Group 1 winning mare Beaded won her 900 metre hitout in earlier on the program, the always-consistent Lonhro six-year-old looking good for an autumn return defeating Cardinal Virtue by one and a quarter.
Moment Of Change is scheduled to resume racing in the $175,000 Group 2 Royal Sovereign Stakes (1200m) at Warwick Farm on February 18.
Their other autumn runs are then set as the $200,000 Group 2 Hobartville Stakes (1400m) at Rosehill on March 3 before they shoot for elite level victory in the $500,000 Group 1 Randwick Guineas (1600m) two weeks later.
Moment Of Change is likely to face off against another gun three-year-old in all of their starts this season with the Ron Leemon-trained Manawanui set for the same three events.
The Oratorio gelding also showed they were ready to return this morning with a Rosehill barrier trial win, Manawanui easily accounting for their eight rivals by a minimum two and a half lengths over 1030m in a time of 1:02.80.
Leemon has Manawanui nominated for the $200,000 Group 2 Expressway Stakes (1200m) first-up at Rosehill this Saturday, but is likely to save them for the Royal Sovereign Stakes 2012 instead.
“My first impression is to look at the Royal Sovereign in a more favourable light,” Leemon said.
“This appears to be a very, very strong Expressway this year.
“With horses like Rain Affair in the field they will run along at a genuine tempo so it will be a test.
“My gut feeling now is to go to the Royal Sovereign.”
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