Superstar sprinter Lankan Rupee, his last start conqueror Angelic Light and the returning Buffering have scared them off in the Moir Stakes 2014 this Friday night with just five final acceptors taken for the classic.
The first of the Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival’s major sprint showdowns, this year’s $450,000 Group 1 City Jeep Moir Stakes (1200m) field is quality over quantity with only five in the mix down 50% on last year.
Twelve months ago the Mick Price-trained Samaready stole the show with a blistering four length victory over Buffering, the Robert Heathcote-trained runner-up back for another go in 2014.
Mossman seven-year-old Buffering is first-up in the Moir on Friday night having last been seen running third behind the Tony Gollan-trained brothers Spirit Of Boom and Temple Of Boom in the Group 1 Doomben 10,000 (1350m) on May 24.
Heathcote is thrilled with his fitness and condition ahead of a third straight Moir Stakes appearance however with the veteran three time Group 1 champ to jump from barrier three with Damian Browne in the saddle.
Buffering won the 2012 Moir Stakes when it held Group 2 status and so looks for a second win in the classic this time at elite level.
His biggest danger and the likely odds-on favourite in Moir Stakes betting at Ladbrokes.com.au is then drawn one on his inside with Lankan Rupee in barrier two for last year’s winning trainer Price.
Lankan Rupee was elevated to the world’s highest rated sprinter during the autumn winning three Group 1 races with victories in the Oakleigh Plate, Newmarket Handicap and TJ Smith Stakes.
In a shock first-up loss however he went down in the final stride as the $1.22 favourite to $21 outside Angelic Light in the Group 2 Mitty’s McEwen Stakes (1000m) three weeks ago.
Price has been pleased with the Redoute’s Choice five-year-olds’ progress since however and doesn’t expect him to get rolled again especially going up to the 1200m.
The distance however also looks ideal for surprise McEwen Stakes winner Angelic Light, Robbie Griffith’s Holy Roman Emperor mare in barrier five on Friday night with Ryan Maloney retaining the ride.
Maloney took the Group 1 placed five-year-old back off the pace in the McEwen before she ran down Lankan Rupee over the last 30 metres.
He is expected to stalk the pacemakers again then in the Moir Stakes and rely on Angelic Light’s powerful finishing burst to get the job done again as she vies for her maiden Group 1 win.
Rounding out the diminutive but classy Moir Stakes field are then the Gary Portelli-trained Rebel Dane (barrier four) who won the Group 1 Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes (1400m) in Sydney on this weekend last spring and Nikki Burke’s rails-drawn Unpretentious.
California Dane stallion Rebel Dane, a Craig Williams mount in the Moir, hasn’t won a race since last year’s Sir Rupert Clarke but was far from disgraced first-up in the Group 2 Missile Stakes (1200m) at Randwick when third to Sweet Idea.
Unpretentious meanwhile has improving to do.
The Group 1 William Reid third placegetter at the track and distance back in March ran seventh in the McEwen Stakes last time out.
See below for the full Moir Stakes 2014 field, jockeys, barriers and weights.
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2014 Moir Stakes Final Field & Barrier Draw
Moonee Valley Race 4 (8:15pm) – 26/09/2014
|No.||Form (Last 10)||Horse||Trainer||Jockey||Barrier||Weight||Hcp. Rating|
|1||2111x7333x||BUFFERING||Robert Heathcote||Damian Browne||3||58.5kg||116|
|2||311x1111x2||LANKAN RUPEE||Mick Price||Craig Newitt||2||58.5kg||118|
|3||157x2547x3||REBEL DANE||Gary Portelli||Craig Williams||4||58.5kg||110|
|4||x19x5937x7||UNPRETENTIOUS||Nikki Burke||Damien Oliver||1||58.5kg||102|
|5||4x32512x31||ANGELIC LIGHT||Robbie Griffiths||Ryan Maloney||5||56.5kg||103|