Peter Moody will instruct jockey Ben Melham to ride his returning French import Lidari quietly in Saturday’s PB Lawrence Stakes 2014 as the Blamey Stakes champ looks to earn some bigger assignments this time in.
Moody this week said while races like the upcoming Caulfield Cup and Cox Plate were always in the back of his mind, at this stage they were taking it race-by-race with Acclamation stallion Lidari.
That starts this weekend with the five-year-old racing first-up in the $200,000 Group 2 Back to Caulfield P.B. Lawrence Stakes (1400m).
Drawn out wide in barrier 10 of 11, Lidari will be ridden by Melham and the plan will be to go back and settle before finishing it off from that gate.
“He’ll need the run on Saturday, we’ll ride him quiet and we’d just like to see him work to the line and slowly build confidence,” Moody told Racing Victoria.
The horse is well liked in the early PB Lawrence Stakes betting markets paying $5 as the second pick at Ladbrokes.com.au behind the defending champion Puissance De Lune ($3.30).
The statistics are there in the PB Lawrence Stakes form guide to suggest Lidari can live up to the short price too.
Lidari is first-up on Saturday which is the status six of the past nine Lawrence Stakes winners were before their victories in the weight-for-age event.
The second fancy also has form on Slow tracks (5-2-0-0) with Caulfield likely to be in that range for the weekend, as well as a nice win rate (35%), 60% place record and a previous win at the track and distance.
That victory was first-up last August, one of the galloper’s three first-up victories from six attempts.
Last seen failing in the Doncaster Mile when 16th to Sacred Falls back in April, a result explained by a minor tendon injury that Moody is confident has been fixed.
“He just twisted an ankle basically and just had a bit of rehab work,” he said.
“He didn’t have a hole, but he had a bit of a strain.
“He’s had a bit time away, but he’s prepped up well.”
Lidari also caught the eye in an earlier autumn run.
On March 8 at Flemington Moody ran the former French-trained horse in the Group 2 Blamey Stakes (1600m) that it won by a length over Foundry.
The Blamey Stakes has been a nice form race for the subsequent spring in recent years including last season when Puissance De Lune dead heated with Budriguez in its sole autumn run before returning with a first-up PB Lawrence win.
The year before Green Moon (2012) saluted in the Blamey eight months before taking out the world’s richest handicap with a victory in the iconic Melbourne Cup back at Flemington on the first Tuesday of November.
While the form is there Moody isn’t getting too ahead of himself and is reluctant to name a Group 1 target for Lidari at this stage of the campaign.
“We’re going to be realistic in our aims,” Moody said.
“We’re going to let his form guide us.
“We all want to win a Cox Plate, we all want to win a Caulfield Cup but we’re not kidding ourselves.
“We’ll let his form take us where he deserves to be.”
Nominations are in though for both the $3 million Group 1 Caulfield Cup (2400m) on October 18 and the $3 million Group 1 Cox Plate (2040m) seven days later.
Lidari features in the futures markets for both the majors at Ladbrokes.com.au too paying a juicy $81 in both races.
Moody also has the fellow OTI-owned Brambles in the PB Lawrence Stakes, the 2012 Queensland Derby winner at a long quote of $31.
“He’s in good shape and I was very pleased with the couple of the runs that he had (before the freshen up),” Moody said.
“He wants further than seven (furlongs), but he’s prepped up nicely and could pull one out fresh.”
To get behind Lidari this weekend stress free head to Ladbrokes and back your selection to win, getting your money back as a bonus bet up to $50 if it runs second in the PB Lawrence Stakes!