A diminutive field of just seven horses is set to contest Monday’s 2015 WJ Adams Stakes at Sandown-Hillside, the handicap clash one of the feature Australia Day races happening in Melbourne this year.
Along with the two Blue Diamond Previews and the Group 3 Manfred Stakes, the $120,000 Listed Mall Seccull W.J. Adams Stakes (1000m) is shaping up as a top race to enjoy a punt on through Ladbrokes.com.au this long weekend.
Leading the field with the hefty 61.5kg top weight is the Peter Moody-trained Moment Of Change, the multiple Group 1 winner to jump from barrier three with Luke Nolen in the saddle.
It’s a big weight but the Barley A Moment gelding is deserving of it having won a trio of Group 1 races over his career including the CF Orr Stakes – Futurity stakes double last February.
He races first-up here for the first time since crossing sixth to Magnifiso in Perth’s Group 1 Winterbottom Stakes (1200m) back in November, an effort he’ll be out to improve on here.
Moment Of Change has been over the distance twice for two second place finishes and also has a good record when fresh of two wins, four seconds and a third from seven first-up runs.
One of his biggest threats meanwhile comes from the inside alley with the Robert Smerdon-trained Shamal Wind carrying 56kg with Dwayne Dunn to ride the Dubawi mare from barrier one.
She’s first-up too with her latest four runs during the spring all producing a third place finish, a frustrating string of placings Smerdon would like to see her break with a win.
The five-year-old is outstanding first-up with four wins from five starts, and is after her first win since a two length effort over the 1000m at Flemington back in April last year.
The in-form runner of the race with fitness on his side though is Robbie Griffiths’ flying four-year-old The Quarterback.
Drawn wide in gate seven the Street Boss gelding has won his past two over the distance, giving him a total record of two wins and a third over 1000m.
Both those wins were down the Flemington straight this month including the Listed Kensington Stakes (1000m) on January 10 – Griffiths looking at a run in the Group 1 Newmarket Handicap back at Flemington for The Quarterback later this Melbourne Autumn Racing Carnival.
Kensington Stakes runner-up Sumakaray is also accepted for Monday’s WJ Adams Stakes field, the Brian Cox-trained mare showing excellent improvement that day on her dead last to Tried And Tired in the listed Christmas Stakes (1200m) at Sandown-Lakeside on Boxing Day.
Rounding out the W.J. Adams Stakes field for 2015 are then Vatican in gate five for jockey Craig Williams, the Stephen Brown-trained eight-year-old Canali in gate four and Klishina for Seymour trainer David Bourne coming off a Kensington Stakes sixth.
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2015 WJ Adams Stakes Final Field & Barrier Draw
Sandown Race 2 (1:55pm) – 26/01/2015
|1||110x20856x||MOMENT OF CHANGE||Peter G Moody||Luke Nolen||3||61.5kg||110|
|2||715x43333x||SHAMAL WIND||Robert Smerdon||Dwayne Dunn||1||56kg||103|
|3||0557x6436x||VATICAN||Byron Cozamanis||Craig Williams||5||54kg||95|
|4||315×216311||THE QUARTERBACK||Robbie Griffiths||Matthew Allen||7||54kg||94|
|6||040×507059||CANALI||Stephen Brown||Stephen Baster||4||54kg||83|
|7||216411×636||KLISHINA||David Bourne||Ms Katelyn Mallyon (a)||6||54kg||80|