Three of the top chances for the $450,000 Group 1 Moir Stakes (1200m) under the lights at Moonee Valley on Friday night showed off in a hit out at the track this morning with Samaready, Epaulette and Bel Sprinter all on show.
The Moir Stakes 2013 brings Group 1 racing to the Valley this weekend and it’s shaping up as a super sprint clash by many of the spring’s best hopes.
Three of those had an early look at the notoriously tight Moonee Valley circuit on Monday morning with the trainers of More Than Ready mare Samaready, Doomben 10,000 winner Epaulette and six-year-old Bel Sprinter giving their horses a testing gallop.
Mick Price’s four-year-old Samaready is sure to start one of the top chances in the Moir following last year’s Blue Diamond Stakes winner’s smart return to racing last month.
After spending a year on the sidelines the former start juvenile resumed with a first-up victory in The Heath 1100 at Caulfield on August 31 which served as a nice confidence booster for her.
“I’ve given her plenty of time to recover from the win as it took a bit out of her,” Price told the Herald Sun.
“She’s trained on really well. She’ll be taking on a top class Group 1 field but I’m looking forward to it.”
The Peter Snowden-trained Commands stallion Epaulette meanwhile will be first-up in the Moir having last bummed out when 10th to Linton in the Group 1 Stradbroke Handicap (1400m) in Brisbane on June 8.
Prior to that however the then three-year-old enjoyed a Group 1 victory when defeating Sea Siren in the Doomben 10,000 (1350m), Snowden using this morning’s work to make them familiar with the course.
“I just wanted to see him get around the track on his right leg which he did,” Snowden said.
“I’m happy with Epaulette, he looks great and his fresh form is excellent.”
Darley’s head trainer however is realistic and knows what a great field Epaulette faces in the recently upgraded clash.
“Gee, it’s going to be a great field, now it’s a Group 1,” he said.
“Normally it’s a Group 2 and a lesser race, and I thought it might be an easier one to kick him off in. But every man and his dog seems to be going there this year.”
Oldest of the trio is then Jason Warren’s Bel Esprit six-year-old Bel Sprinter.
Also returning here, The Galaxy champion in Sydney back in March comes back after an international campaign that resulted with a nice second to Lucky Nine in the Group 1 International Sprint (1200m) at Singapore.
Bel Sprinter posted a smart 51.5 over the 800m this morning finishing their final 400m in 25.25 on the dead rated track, a stellar effort according to Warren.
“He’s in good order and that gallop will have him ready for Friday night. I’m very happy,” the Mornington-based trainer said.
Another big name to be nominated for the Moir Stakes this weekend is the Rob Heathcote-trained defending champ Buffering who lines up in their 17th Group 1 race.
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