Former Darwin horseman Stephen Brown, now based in Victoria, is confident his honest galloper Sea Lord can break their Group duck this Friday night when they race in the Australia Stakes 2013 at Moonee Valley’s twilight meet.
The Street Cry five-year-old, formerly prepared in Sydney by David Payne, joined Brown’s Flemington base midway through last year and has won three of their seven starts for their new trainer.
Last seen crossing second to Undeniably in the Listed X’Mas Stakes (1200m) at Caulfield on Boxing Day, Sea Lord steps up to Group company for the first time since September of 2011 for the $220,000 Australia Stakes (1200m).
Brown is confident too Sea Lord can go one better on Friday evening as they look to retain their flawless record at Moonee Valley.
Sea Lord has had three wins from as many starts at the notoriously tight track having won their first two runs for Brown over the 1200m at Moonee Valley.
They also won at the course again in October, the trio of wins all by only a short head or less.
Their trainer said it was their tag as a track specialist at Moonee Valley as well as the absence of last year’s Australia Stakes winner Black Caviar from this weekend’s race that prompted him to step Sea Lord up in class and vie for the lucrative $132,000 first prize.
“He’s proven to be a Moonee Valley specialist,” Brown said.
“So that was a factor for sure.
“And just looking at the nominations for the race, there’s no Black Caviar in there like there was last year. I wouldn’t have even run him in it if it was last year.
“I know there are a couple of handy horses nominated but I don’t think they are unbeatable. I think he’s got a good chance.”
Nine sprinters were nominated for this year’s Essendon Mazda Australia Stakes including the Anthony Freedman-trained First Command who won their second straight Kensington Stakes last Saturday.
Acceptances and gates will be out on Wednesday and published right here so stay tuned.