After coming up trumps in the 2014 Winterbottom Stakes barrier draw Moment Of Change is a livewire chance to atone for a close second in the Perth classic 12 months ago and win the sprint showdown on Saturday according to trainer Peter Moody.
Last Perth Summer Racing Carnival Moody’s Barley A Moment gelding travelled west on the back of some solid Melbourne form, including a third to Buffering in the Group 1 VRC Sprint Classic (1200m), to run at Ascot Racecourse on Railway Stakes Day.
He was beaten a nostril flare by the VRC Sprint Classic winner Buffering when runner-up in the Group 1 Perth Crown Winterbottom Stakes (1200m), worth an increased $750,000 this season.
With no Buffering in the equation and a better barrier than his nine of 12 draw last year, Moody hopes the six-year-old can come home with the trophy in 2014.
“This year he’s drawn a gate,” Moody told Perth Racing.
“We can control the race instead of racing three-wide outside of horses like Buffering and Barakey last year.
“My bloke is a big, bowling horse. I think he’s going every bit as good as last year.”
Moment Of Change’s lead-up form hasn’t been quite as brilliant this year, his latest effort being a fifth behind Terravista in the same race he came via last time.
Moody was pleased with that effort and believes from barrier four on Saturday with Luke Nolen staying on the galloper has every chance.
Current Winterbottom Stakes betting markets at Ladbrokes.com.au are led by Manikato Stakes runner-up from October 24, Angelic Light in barrier five for trainer Robbie Griffiths and paying $3 to win.
Firming second pick in the Winterbottom Stakes odds in from $4.40 to $4.20 is then Moment Of Change who, in a race lacking of any genuine speed, should be able to get across and set the pace.
Moody is also happy to bring the horse over after a lighter campaign following an early spring back injury that saw him specifically set for Saturday’s Group 1.
“He walked off the plane like he knows the place,” Moody said, speaking of Moment Of Change’s familiarity with Perth upon his return.
“That experience is invaluable.
“Angelic Light beat Lankan Rupee (in the Group 2 McEwen Stakes in September) and should have won the Manikato (Stakes on October 24 when a nose away second to Lankan Rupee).
“Ratings blokes have her rated higher than Lankan Rupee and he’s the equal best sprinter in the world.”
Moody said aside from the visiting Cranbourne mare and favourite Angelic Light, he was also not ruling out an upset from one of the local sprinters including Jim Taylor’s last start Group 2 Lee Steere Stakes winner Magnifisio ($8)
“I have great respect for the locals who have the advantage of being on their own dunghill,” he said.
“It’s going to make for one hell of a race.”
Like Moment Of Change, race tactics for Bullsbrook-based Magnus mare Magnifisio are to send her forward from her outside barrier 11 draw in the Winterbottom as she looks to become just the third local in the past seven years to win.
Whether you’re backing one of the five eastern state raiders or think a local can get the job done in the 2014 Winterbottom Stakes make sure you place your bets online at Ladbrokes.com.au for the hottest odds!