Six-year-old gelding It Is Written may not have any hope of beating three-time Group One winner Dissident in the weight-for-age Group 2 Australia Stakes (1200m) this Saturday but because the race is running at Moonee Valley, trainer Robbie Griffiths has decided to give it a crack.
It Is Written has a certain affinity with the Moonee Valley track, winning six of his 17 starts and placing in a further five starts. The gelding tends to run better on the unique circuit, a fact Griffiths is hoping will work in his favour on Saturday.
“He’s a far better horse at Moonee Valley than any other metropolitan track so we try to keep him there,” Griffiths told Sky Racing.
“He’s OK at Caulfield and is a stakes winner there but he’s far better at Moonee Valley so when a race comes up there, even if it is a bit too strong for him which this appears to be on paper, he can run above himself at that venue.”
It Is Written was third in last year’s Australia Stakes, finishing one length off winner Richie’s Vibe after finding himself blocked for a run near the turn and in the straight. The gelding then went on to win the Listed Abell Stakes (1200m) at the track two months later.
Griffiths is hopeful that his gelding can score a placing again on Saturday, realistic his chances at beating home Dissident are slim.
The Peter Moody-trained horse is $1.80 odds-on favourite in the betting market at Ladbrokes.com.au after a successful spring campaign that saw him net two more Group One victories and finish runner-up in another.
“Realistically he can’t beat Dissident. He’s a faster horse, he’s a three-time Group One winner and he’s just better than us,” Griffiths said.
“And at weight-for-age the best horses win because on a handicap scale we’d be getting weight relief off him but at weight-for-age we don’t.
“So certainly weight-for-age is a negative for us.
“But he loves the Valley and he always runs above himself at this venue so we’ll have a crack.”
The 2015 Australia Stakes betting market has seen plenty of movement following the scratching of defending champion Richie’s Vibe due to medication for pool colic.
It Is Written’s price has firmed to $8 from $11.
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