Peter Moody will set out to break his winner’s hoodoo in the Group 1 Oakleigh Plate (1100m) this Saturday with the trainer set to deliver a dual-pronged attack on the $400,000 feature race.
In the past 11 renewals of the Oakleigh Plate, Moody has trained four runner-ups and two third placers with a win so far eluding him. Yet he remains confident that A Time For Julia could break his drought in the race come Saturday.
The five-year-old mare finished runner-up in both the Group 3 Cockram Stakes (1200m) and Group 3 Sportingbet Sprint (1200m) in the spring. While she remains without a victory at the highest level of racing, A Time For Julia did impress in a barrier trial earlier this month against the world’s higest-rated sprinter Lankan Rupee, which has really left an impression on her trainer.
“It was a super trial, I take great heart from that trial and I have kept her fresh for the Oakleigh Plate,” Moody told TVN.
“She galloped superbly here this morning. She’s down in the weights and I think she’s going to be a big player.”
A Time For Julia finished just one length behind Lankan Rupee in an 800m trial at Cranbourne on February 9, made even more impressive after the Mick Price-trained gelding delivered a fantastic win in the Group 1 Lightning Stakes (1000m) on Saturday.
Moody thought so highly of the trial he decided to keep A Time For Julia fresh for the 2015 Oakleigh Plate, a plan he regrets not following with fellow runner Flamberge, who finished fifth to Lankan Rupee in last year’s edition.
The five-year-old gelding took on speedy Chautauqua in the Group 2 Rubiton Stakes (1100m) two weeks ago. He was a handy third after jumping but got trapped three wide. He went to the front with 250m to go and was only caught by Chautauqua nearing the 50m, finishing a head away in second place in a very good first-up run.
When asked to rate his two Oakleigh Plate runners, Moody couldn’t look past A Time For Julia but noted that Flamberge looks in “great shape”.
“Flamberge goes in as the horse with the best form I realise, but I can’t get out of my head how well she (A Time For Julia) is going,” he said.
“I think she gets a great chance.”
20 sprinters are nominated for the 2015 Oakleigh Plate at Caulfield with the final field due to be released on Wednesday morning.
If you think Moody can finally break his winner’s hoodoo in the race, open your Ladbrokes.com.au online betting account and place any early bet on either Flamberge ($15) or A Time For Julia ($21).