Exciting four-year-old Strawberry Boy will have his first start for new trainer Peter Moody at Flemington on Saturday in the $100,000 Secondbite Fresh Food Rescue Handicap (1400m).
Owned by John Singleton’s Strawberry Hill Stud, the Redoute’s Choice gelding was formerly trained by Gai Waterhouse but was transferred to Moody well before the current well-publicised issues.
Strawberry Boy hasn’t been seen since the spring when he showed plenty of talent to win two starts in restricted grade before finishing third in both the Group 3 Kingston Town Stakes and the Group 3 Colin Stephen Quality.
The winner of four of seven starts hasn’t had an official trial leading into his first-up test but Moody has liked what he has seen in jump-outs.
“He’s had a couple of jumpouts at home, he’s in good shape and he’s obviously a horse with considerable promise that he’s already shown in the past,” Moody told Racing Victoria.
“He seems a nice horse but it’s his first run this direction and we’ll learn plenty about him on Saturday.”
Strawberry Boy will carry 54kg from barrier six, 6.5kg less than topweight Hawks Bay.
Hawks Bay is resuming for the first time since August when he won his second consecutive Darwin Cup.
Trainer Neil Dyer is considering taking the veteran gelding back to the top end to chase a third straight title depending how he fares in his comeback from a suspensory ligament injury.
“We’ll just play it by ear, run by run,” Dyer said.
“He’s been to the trials at Tatura and Wangaratta and won them both pretty well, like the old horse is still there.”
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