Trainer Peter Moody is hoping his smart colt Better Land makes the cut for the 2014 Golden Rose field this weekend but has other options on the card if he misses a start.
The headline race in Sydney on Saturday, the $1 million Group 1 Golden Rose Stakes (1400m) has a capacity field of 18 starters.
On Sunday Shamardal colt Better Land sat number 20 on the official Golden Rose order of entry.
He is also a top fancy at Ladbrokes.com.au who are taking no chances in their Golden Rose markets, Better Land occupying the third line of betting at $9.
The odds are co-led pre-field release by Moody’s Silver Shadow Stakes winning filly Bring Me The Maid and the undefeated Hallowed Crown for James & Bart Cummings at $4.80 each.
Better Land may not be assured of a run up against his Golden Slipper placed stable mate Bring Me The Maid but there are doubts surrounding the acceptance of a number of top runners above him on the ballot.
Moody then is sweating on whether or not connections of the likes of Gai Waterhouse’s Skyline Stakes winner Valentia, San Domenico Stakes winner Nostradamus, Panzer Division who won the Ming Dynasty Quality handicap over the weekend, beaten favourite in that race Washington Heights and Encosta De Lago filly Sultry Feeling pay final acceptances by 9am on Tuesday morning.
A three length winner on debut at Sale back in early April this time in Better Land has had two luckless but eye-catching runs.
First-up he was second after a wide run in the Listed The Rosebud (1200m0 battling on well behind Scissor Kick.
Then on August 23 Glyn Schofield jumped aboard for the Group 3 Up And Coming Stakes (1300m) where the official placing was fourth to Scissor Kick again, severe interference over the final 100m forcing a protest that was upheld.
With a star filly guaranteed a run Moody said on Sunday when speaking on the Racing Network that there was “no point worrying” about whether or not Better Land would make the Golden Rose field.
Instead he’s lining up Plan ‘B’ options and looking at a return to Melbourne for a run in the $120,000 Listed Exford Plate (1400m), formerly the Henry Bucks Best Dressed Stakes, at Flemington.
Also on the Makybe Diva Stakes Day program on the weekend is the $200,000 Group 2 Danehill Stakes (1200m), where Thousand Guineas-bound filly Go Indy Go resumes, but Moody said the 1400m of the Listed race would better suit Better Land.
On Saturday at Royal Randwick Moody put Better Land through his paces alongside Bring Me The Maid, the colt working well with the blinkers on.
“I thought the filly worked the best she’d worked and he worked well beside her,” Moody said.
“I’m very pleased with both.”
Bring Me The Maid will be ridden by Luke Nolen in the Golden Rose, the daughter of Sebring to appreciate another wet Sydney track if the rain stays around.
She beat home subsequent Group 1 ATC Sires’ Produce Stakes winner Peggy Jean on a Heavy (8) Rosehill track in the Group 2 Magic Night Stakes (1200m) back in March before her third behind Mossfun and Earthquake in the coveted Golden Slipper during the autumn.
Two smart trials later she returned on another mud track, this time at Randwick to beat the John O’Shea-trained Memorial by one and a half lengths in the Group 2 Silver Shadow Stakes (1200m) on August 23 in her Golden Rose lead-up.
To back Moody’s Golden Rose favourite, or take Better Land at his better price to make the field and upset the stable mate, visit Ladbrokes who offer punters their winnings in cash thanks to the exclusive Ladbrokes Card!