Moment Of Change held-off a fast finishing Eurozone to win the 2014 Orr Stakes at Caulfield this weekend and return to the winners stall for the first time in almost 18 months.
Luke Nolen jumped straight to the lead with Moment Of Change and he set a solid tempo in the early stages of the race; stringing out the six horse field.
Moment Of Change was challenged by Shamus Award coming around the final turn and kicked clear at the 200 metre mark, after Shamus Award laid in, but was forced to dig deep to hold-off Eurozone who worked home strongly in his weight-for-age debut.
Trainer Peter Moody has defended Moment Of Change in the last twelve months, with many racing experts calling the Barely A Moment gelding a non-winner, and was thrilled to see the five-year-old return to the winners stall in the Orr Stakes.
“He has been a fraction behind all prep, but we were confident enough today,” Moody said after the race.
“He is a good benchmark for these good three-year-olds.
“I think you are going to see them go on and do a hell of a job.
“He has fallen into his slot in a race like this and the Futurity and they will go onto great heights in the autumn, while our bloke is cooling his heels.
“That is the idea with this type of horse; placing them where they can win and being realistic on what they are capable of.
“I think there is enough improvement in him to come back for the Futurity in a couple of weeks.
“It has been a frustrating 12 months, when you get beaten ten times in Group 1s, but the horse has always returned in good check and always done us proud.”
Nolen did not perform at his best during the 2013 Spring Racing Carnival and spent a fair bit of time out of the saddle at the start of the year, but timed his ride perfectly on the talented sprinter and gave him every opportunity to record his second win at Group 1 level.
The victory was Nolen’s first at the highest level of racing since the retirement of equine superstar Black Caviar and he was thrilled to do it on another horse that he has had a great association with over the last two years.
“I wasn’t afraid to be outside the leader, but he stepped very good for him and he is the sort of horse that you can probably get along with a little bit,” Nolen said.
“I think that we found that happy medium with him today and there is improvement in him.
“I would expect him to run similarly in the Futurity and he will be harder to beat with that one under his belt.”
The Moody/Nolen team has dominated the Orr Stakes in the past five years; previously winning the race with champion mares Typhoon Tracy (2010) and Black Caviar (2012).
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2014 Orr Stakes Finishing Order
|1||3||MOMENT OF CHANGE||Peter G Moody||Luke Nolen||–||5||59kg||$2.35F|
|2||8||EUROZONE||Bart & James Cummings||Damien Oliver||0.1L||4||55.5kg||$6|
|3||7||SHAMUS AWARD||Danny O’Brien||Craig Williams||1.6L||6||55.5kg||$3.50|
|4||2||FORETELLER (GB)||Chris Waller||Craig Newitt||3.85L||2||59kg||$16|
|5||6||FINISHING CARD||Clinton McDonald||Glen Boss||7.85L||3||59kg||$31|
|6||4||HAWKSPUR||Chris Waller||Michael Walker||8.85L||1||59kg||$9|