Victoria’s leading trainer Peter Moody appears well placed to claim his third title in Australia’s most prestigious handicap sprint when Moment Of Change starts as favourite in the Group 1 2013 Newmarket Handicap (1200m) on Saturday week.
Moody will head to Flemington and the Newmarket with a horse who has plenty in his favour and a great chance of emulating the feat of Moody-trained winners Wanted (2010) and Black Caviar (2011).
The four-year-old has been earmarked as a Newmarket contender since well before his campaign began and will follow the same path as his champion stablemate did in 2011.
Like Black Caviar did, Moment Of Change will go into the Newmarket second-up after contesting the Group 1 Lightning Stakes.
The only difference is Moment Of Change will start on the back of a runner-up finish rather than victory.
But the son of Barely A Moment lost no admirers in his first-up test when he finished 2 1/2 lengths behind the superstar mare who broke the Flemington 1000m track record on her way to recording a 23rd consecutive victory.
The progressive galloper had his spring cut short after winning the Group 1 Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes in September but that could be a blessing in disguise.
It meant Moment Of Change had a long spell and the early signs suggest he has come back bigger and better.
He is likely to take improvement out of a strong Lightning run and will appreciate the rise in distance to 1200m, a trip he has already won at twice in his career.
From 10 career starts the gelding has made his ability known, chalking up five wins and four minor placings.
Moment Of Change will carry 56.5kg in the Newmarket, 1.5kg less than topweight Luckygray.
He is a $2.80 favourite with Perth geldings Barakey ($2.80) and Luckygray ($6.50) occupying the second and third lines of betting.
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