Moody hoping for speed battle in Winterbottom Stakes

Melbourne’s premier trainer Peter Moody will be very happy if speedsters Buffering and Barakey go helter skelter and set the race up for his run on horse Moment Of Change in the Group 1 $500,000 Crown Perth – Winterbottom Stakes (1200m) at Ascot on Saturday.

Moment Of Change will be suited with a hot pace up front in the Winterbottom Stakes.

Moment Of Change will be suited with a hot pace up front in the Winterbottom Stakes. Photo by Race Horse Photos Australia.

Moment Of Change has finished behind Buffering at his last three starts and will get his chance to turn the tables if the noted front runner is taken on by local hero Barakey and a speed battle develops.

These tactics would play right into the hands of Moment Of Change who is looking for his first win since taking out the 2012 Group 1 $400,000 Clamms Seafood Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield over twelve months ago.

“You’ve got to hope Buffering and Barakey soften one another up,” Moody told Racing Network.

“If they go to the front and control the tempo to suit themselves then they are going to be very hard to run down.

“I think Buffering is the better horse of the two.”

Moment Of Change has been racing consistently at Group 1 level at last three starts.

The Barely A Moment five year old was fourth to Samaready in the $450,000 Programmed Moir Stakes (1200m) at Moonee Valley on September 27, with Buffering finishing second and then was fourth to Buffering in the $1m Sportingbet Manikato Stakes (1200m) at Moonee Valley on October 25.

And at his most recent start he was beaten two and a half lengths when third to Buffering again in the $1m VRC Sprint Classic (1200m) at Flemington on November 9.

Barakey is certain to take advantage of his good barrier draw and bounce straight to the front from the two gate and then Damian Browne on Buffering will have to decide if he is going sit off the leader or take him on at some early stage.

Barakey has recovered from knee surgery which was required after he pulled up lame when eleventh to Shamexpreess in the Group 1 $1m Lexus Newmarket Handicap (1200m) at Flemington earlier in the year.

The six year old was back to his flying best when he set a solid pace in leading all of the way for a first up win in the Group 3 $125,000 Sea Corp Starlight Prince Of Wales Stakes (1200m) at Ascot on October 26.

“His action is much better, he is doing well in the stable and he is exactly where I want him to be,” trainer Jim Taylor said.

“He will strip fitter on his Prince Of Wales win but he will have to be against the likes of Buffering.”

Brisbane trainer Robert Heathcote said that he would leave the riding tactics up to Browne who will wait and see how the field leaves the barriers, but doesn’t anticipated a speed battle will eventuate.

“I will leave the riding instructions to Damian but I don’t imagine Buffering going head-to-head with Barakey in a speed battle,” Heathcote said.

“I’ve got healthy respect for Barakey on his home patch.”

Buffering is dominating the betting and is the $2.20 favourite for the Winterbottom Stakes ahead of Barakey at $4.40 while Moment Of Change and Spirit Of Boom share the next line of betting at $7.50.

About The Author

Mark Mazzaglia

Mark is a passionate journalist with a life-time involvement in the racing industry. He spent many years as an analyst and form expert at the Courier Mail and also has hands-on experience working with some of Queensland’s top trainers.

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