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Leading Victorian trainer Peter Moody has opted to skip this Saturday’s Epsom Handicap Day in Sydney with Lights Of Heaven and focus solely on the Caulfield Cup 2012 in Melbourne later in the month.
Five-year-old Zabeel mare Lights Of Heaven was originally being considered for the $400,000 Group 1 The Metropolitan (2400m) at Royal Randwick this Saturday.
Moody however will not be accepting for the Group 1 winner who will instead target another more famous mile and a half spring feature, the $2.65 million Group 1 BMW Caulfield Cup (2400m) at Caulfield Racecourse on Saturday October 20.
Winner of the 2011 Schweppes Oaks in Adelaide as a three-year-old, Lights Of Heaven started out as one of the top fancies for the Caulfield Cup last Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival.
After failing in a number of her lead-up races however she didn’t run in the Cup and finished the season on a low when dead last in the Mackinnon Stakes on Victoria Derby Day.
Lights Of Heaven hit her peak again in this year’s Brisbane Winter Racing Carnival backing up from her Group 1 Doomben Cup (2000m) second to win both the Group 2 Eagle Farm Cup (2200m) and the Group 2 Brisbane Cup (2400m).
Her opening two runs this time in were disappointing when 11th in the Warwick Stakes and ninth in the Chelmsford but she showed form last start when beaten under a length to cross third behind Lamasery in the Hill Stakes over 2000m at Randwick on September 22.
It was that performance that showed Moody just how much she had come on and prompted his decision not to over race her before Caulfield Cup Day by running her in The Metrop.
“The improvement Lights Of Heaven showed in the Hill Stakes has convinced me she is right on track,” Moody said.
“She will come home and go straight into the Caulfield Cup. The 2400-metres of that race looks ideal.”
Lights Of Heaven is currently rated a $21 chance in the Caulfield Cup odds at bookmaker.com.au which are led by last year’s beaten favourite December Draw ($9) who runs in the $500,000 Group 1 Turnbull Stakes (2000m) at Flemington this Saturday.
Moody will also be represented in the 2012 Turnbull Stakes this weekend with Italian imports Voila Ici and Sneak A Peek.
Of the duo the one with the most interest surrounding their run is Daylami seven-year-old Voila Ici who caught the eye second-up on September 22 when crossing a half length away second to Ocean Park in the Group 1 Underwood Stakes (1800m) at Caulfield.
Doyen four-year-old Sneak A Peek meanwhile has also had two runs on Aussie turf most recently crossing four and a half lengths away fifth to Happy Trails in the Group 2 Dato’ Tan Chin Nam Stakes (1600m) at Moonee Valley.
Their form back in Italy however cannot be ignored as they won the Group 2 Pederico Tesio (2211m) last September defeating current Melbourne Cup entry Jakkalberry (2nd) and their now stablemate Voila Ici (3rd).
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