2014 Villiers Stakes Target for Sir Moments

A trip to Sydney for a shot at next month’s Villiers Stakes 2014 could now be on the cards for the Steven O’Dea-trained Sir Moments after his strong win at the Gold Coast over the weekend.

Sir Moments (winning the Daybreak Lover Stakes)

This year’s Queensland Guineas champ Sir Moments (pictured winning the Daybreak Lover Stakes) is off to Sydney for a shot at the 2014 Villiers Stakes in December. Photo: Daniel Costello.

The Choisir four-year-old posted his sixth win from just 12 career starts when beating home Aldini by a length in the $65,000 Super Starfish Handicap (1400m) on Saturday.

The gelding was ridden by last season’s Brisbane Premiership winning jockey Tim Bell, the hoop ultra-impressed with the horse’s effort from the top of the straight to the line.

“He is such a good horse,” Bell said on Saturday after the win.

“He began better than I anticipated today, and I found the fence and settled nicely.

“It was all over red rover at the top of the straight.

“He had his usual antics after he hit the lead, pricking his ears, but it was all over by then.”

Prepared in Brisbane, Sir Moments is already a four time black-type winner with three Listed races to his name as well as a narrow victory in the final stride in the Group 2 Queensland Guineas (1400m) at Eagle Farm back in May.

Bell has been aboard for the past six of the horse’s starts, including the Queensland guineas win in the winter, which he backed up with a Listed Daybreak Lover (1600m) victory when stepped up to a mile.

The up-and-coming galloper’s only other start over 1600m was as a juvenile in the previous year’s Brisbane Winter Racing Carnival where he finished three lengths away seventh to Romantic Touch in the Group 1 JJ Atkins.

This year the Eagle Farm-based O’Dea, while impressed with the young gun’s Guineas victory, opted not to push him too hard to soon and pursue a Group 1 Stradbroke Handicap (1400m) start in Queensland’s richest race.

Instead after the Daybreak Lover on June 7 he sent him out for a length freshen up, Sir Moments returning on November 1 at Doomben for a first-up third behind Hopfgarten.

The 1400m at the Gold Coast was then ideal on Saturday second-up, the horse doing a good job to carry 59kg to victory in the open handicap clash.

“He took a little while to hit his top today carrying 59kg but he was really strong through the line and he probably wants a bit further,” O’Dea said.

“It was a funny race to read as there didn’t look to be a lot of speed on paper but they ended up running along OK.

“He showed he is versatile today, racing a little bit closer, and that is a big positive going forward.”

O’Dea is now hoping his patience with Sir Moments pays off with the horse to travel interstate for a shot at the Sydney Summer Racing Carnival riches.

In October last year he had his first run outside of Queensland when O’Dea ran him first-up off a four month break in the Listed Brian Crowley Stakes (1200m) at Randwick.

Sir Moments however finished dead last in the five-horse field when beaten four lengths, Blake Shinn aboard, behind Boss Lane.

O’Dea believes the horse has come on since then however and it will be back to Randwick, this time at the Kensington track, hopefully on December 13 for a shot at the $175,000 Group 2 Villiers Stakes (1600m) title.

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