A star-studded field of the world’s top class sprinters faces off at Moonee Valley Racecourse on Friday night in the Moir Stakes 2016 including champion international performer Chautauqua.
The Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes-trained son of Encosta De Lago is the highest-rated sprinter getting around and sixth elite level win first-up in the $500,000 Group 1 Charter Keck Cramer Moir Stakes (1000m).
Last time out the six-year-old won the Group 1 Chairman’s Sprint (1200m) in Hong Kong and his record when resuming is outstanding with five wins and a second from six first-up starts to date.
A winner of over $6.5 million in prize money, Chautauqua also has a perfect two-from-two record at both the Moonee Valley track and over the short distance of 1000m.
His last run at the notoriously tight circuit produced the Group 1 Manikato Stakes (1200m) win last Melbourne Spring Racing Carnival.
On Friday he has Dwayne Dunn back aboard for the first time since a third in the Group 1 Newmarket Handicap (1200m) down the Flemington straight in the autumn.
Dunn is after his first winning Moir Stakes ride, while co-trainer John Hawkes is after a second win in the classic after success with Sports Works back in 1993.
Out to make history with a record fourth Moir Stakes victory is the Robert Heathcote-trained veteran Buffering.
The Brisbane-based, overseas-performer cult figure won the race for the first time in 2012 before back-to-back victories in 2014 and 2015.
Since his third Moir Stakes win last spring, when jumping from barrier six (of 13), Buffering has won a further two elite levels including the Group 1 Al Quoz Sprint (1000m) in Dubai.
The seven-time Group 1 champion failed to make an impression in Hong Kong back on May 1 however when crossing last (14th) in the Chairman’s Sprint behind Moir Stakes 2016 rival Chautauqua.
Since returning home however the Mossman nine-year-old has been flying according to Heathcote, jockey Damian Browne returning to the saddle first-up on Friday as Buffering looks to continue his ace Moonee Valley (11-5-1-1) and 1000m (7-5-0-1) records.
The other Moir Stakes final acceptor right up in the ratings for the weight-for-age showdown is the Darren Weir-trained Lucky Hussler.
He is drawn a treat in barrier two, which has produced three Moir Stakes winners in the past decade including Buffering (2012).
A seven-year-old son of Husson, Lucky Hussler hasn’t won a race since January and his last run back in late March was a disappointing ninth to Flamberge at Moonee Valley in the Group 1 William Reid Stakes (1200m), a race he won the previous season in 2015.
Lucky Hussler also won the Group 1 Toorak Handicap (1600m) last Caulfield Cup Day over a mile, but takes his chances in a genuine sprint this weekend.
The rails run in the Moir Stakes belongs this year to the in-form Peter & Paul Snowden-trained Redzel who steps up noticeably in class after a late August win in the Group 3 The Heath (1100m) at Caulfield over Under The Louvre.
Also coming off back-to-back wins is the Mark Kavanagh-trained mare Wild Rain whose last run produced a Moonee Valley Group 2 success at the track / distance in the McEwne Stakes.
The other headline Moir Stakes hopes include last year’s runner-up Ball Of Muscle for Joe Pride, McEwen Stakes third placegetter Heatherly and Mick Price’s Blue Diamond winner Extreme Choice.
See below for the full Moir Stakes 2016 field, barriers and jockeys then head to Ladbrokes.com.au for the weekend’s top racing markets!
2016 Moir Stakes Final Field & Barrier Draw
Moonee Valley Race 7 (9:30pm) – 30/09/2016
|#||Form (Last 10)||Horse||Trainer||Jockey||Br.||Wgt.||Hcp. Rating|
|1||x15411x10x||BUFFERING||Robert Heathcote||Damian Browne||6||58.5kg||115|
|2||1112x1311x||CHAUTAUQUA||Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes||Dwayne Dunn||5||58.5kg||118|
|3||46136x129x||LUCKY HUSSLER||Darren Weir||Brad Rawiller||2||58.5kg||113|
|4||x3223x68x2||BALL OF MUSCLE||Joseph Pride||Kerrin McEvoy||3||58.5kg||106|
|5||55x2215x11||REDZEL||Peter & Paul Snowden||Mark Zahra||1||58.5kg||100|
|6||1x22126x11||WILD RAIN||Mark Kavanagh||Stephen Baster||8||56.5kg||103|
|7||x231113x13||HEATHERLY||Mathew Ellerton & Simon Zahra||Damian Lane||7||56.5kg||103|
|8||x52x11156x||CHLOE IN PARIS||Ciaron Maher||Damien Oliver||4||56.5kg||97|
|9||1118x||EXTREME CHOICE||Mick Price||Craig Newitt||9||52kg||102|