A “perfect” piece of work on the steeple grass at Randwick from his Villiers Stakes-bound galloper Sir Moments has Queensland trainer Steven O’Dea confident going into Sydney’s Festival Stakes 2014 this weekend.
Choisir gelding Sir Moments comes off a November 15 win at the Gold Coast in a 1400m open handicap, a second-up victory after he resumed off a five month spell when third over 1350m at Doomben a fortnight earlier behind Hopfgarten.
This Saturday Sir Moments races in Sydney for just the second time, his debut being in October last year when dead last crossing fifth behind Boss Lane in the Listed Crowley Stakes (1200m).
Since then the progressive middle-distance sprinter has won four of his six starts.
The most notable was a narrow victory in a final bound win over Liberty’s Choice in the Group 2 Queensland Guineas (1400m) back in May, after which he also won the Listed Daybreak Lover Stakes over the Eagle Farm mile.
On Tuesday morning Sir Moments impressed his Brisbane-based trainer O’Dea when working over 1000m in a time of 1.03.1, his final 400 metres completed in a slick 23.1 seconds.
It was the exact run O’Dea was hoping for as Sir Moments gears up for the $100,000 Listed Festival Stakes (1500m) at Rosehill Gardens this weekend.
“He worked over 1000 metres picking up over the last 400 and it was good work,” O’Dea told Racenet.
He’s been allocated 56kg in the handicap showdown, weights led by Ron Quinton’s eight-year-old veteran Monton (60kg) who contests the race for the fifth straight year.
Other notable hopes among the 19 Festival Stakes nominations include Chris Waller’s Ladies Day Stakes winner Strawberry Boy, the in-form Generalife for Godolphin and Gai Waterhouse’s Group 3 winner Spurtonic.
The race is the key lead-up into the $175,000 Group 2 Villiers Stakes (1600m) at Randwick on December 13, the major target for Sir Moments this Sydney Summer Racing Carnival.
“We brought him here (to Sydney) a fit horse and he’s ready for Saturday’s race,” O’Dea said.
“Obviously his main goal is the Villiers (Stakes) but he couldn’t be any better for the 1500 metres this week.”
During his time in Sydney Sir Moments is stabled with John Thompson who also rates him a genuine hope this Saturday and further into his campaign.
“I was quite taken by him and I’ll be surprised if he doesn’t measure up against our horses,” Thompson said.
The 2014 Festival Stakes field is due out on Wednesday morning and will be published right here at Races.com.au.
To get in on the Sydney Summer Racing Carnival action this weekend and into the New Year sign-up with our preferred online betting agency Ladbrokes.com.au today!