Sydney trainer Joe Pride has ruled out Friday night’s Moir Stakes 2015 at Moonee Valley Racecourse with his Group 1 winning sprinter Terravista who will instead stay at home racing at Royal Randwick.
The six-year-old son of Captain Rio is nominated for the $450,000 Group 1 Moir Stakes (1000m) held under the lights on Friday evening in Melbourne, but Pride intends to accept for Terravista to run on Epsom Handicap Day on Saturday in the $300,000 Group 2 Premiere Stakes (1200m).
There are officially 20 sprinters making up the Moir Stakes nominations this year including dual champion Buffering who won in 2012 and last year when it ran over 1200m for Brisbane horseman Robert Heathcote.
Along with his $1.48 million earner Terravista, who is best known for his Group 1 Darley Classic (1200m) win over Chautauqua last Melbourne Cup Carnival at Flemington, Pride also has Tiger Tees and the super-consistent Ball Of Muscle entered for the Moir Stakes.
Pride only plans to run the latter in the weight-of-rage feature, Dubawi five-year-old Ball Of Muscle coming off a second in Sydney’s Group 2 The Shorts (1100m) to Rebel Dane from September 19.
Terravista meanwhile hasn’t raced since a disappointing 12th when beating home just one other runner in the Group 1 All Aged Stakes (1400m) at Randwick on April 18 on the back of two far superior runs – a Newmarket Handicap third at Flemington and a third to Chautauqua in the TJ Smith in Sydney.
Originally he too was set to run first-up in The Shorts, but a Soft track ruled out the proven fresh runner who on Saturday will shoot for his fifth win from six first-up runs on the back of two smart Sydney trial wins at Warwick Farm in September.
“He’s doing really well here at home,” Pride told Racing Ahead.
“He’s got good improvement in him, going to the races for his first run. He’s primed to run well first-up.”
He will be joined in the Premiere Stakes field by former Group 1 The Galaxy winner Tiger Tees as well as Rock Sturdy who ran fifth of sixth runners in The Shorts at the same track a fortnight back.
After Saturday’s run, Terravista is Melbourne bound with the Group 1 Manikato Stakes (1200m) at Moonee Valley on October 23 on the cards again after his fifth to Lankan Rupee in the race last year.
He will then defend his Darley Classic title on Emirates Stakes Day in early November down the Flemington straight before a possible international Hong Kong campaign for December’s HK Sprint.
Pride is confident Ball Of Muscle, who is after his first win since the Group 2 QTC Cup (1200m) in Brisbane in late May, can hold his own in a star-studded Moir Stakes that is also set to feature Ciaron Maher’s undefeated filly Petits Filous on the 51kg light weight.
“He’s a bit of a specialist, he’s really good over the short course,” he said of Ball Of Muscle, to be ridden by Glyn Schofield on Friday night.
“He’s in good order, and I think he deserves a crack at a Group 1.
“You look at the line-up, I don’t think there’s too many Group 1 winners in the race. There’s some really nice up-and-coming horses.
“He’s seasoned, he’s fit, he’s ready to take them on.”
The 2015 Moir Stakes field and barriers are out on Wednesday so stay tuned.
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