Trainer Robbie Griffiths is very bullish about the chances of It Is Written in the 2016 Australia Stakes at Moonee Valley on Saturday and he is hopeful that the track specialist can go one better after finishing second behind Mourinho last year.
It Is Written returned to the races in the Group 3 Standish Handicap (1200m) at Flemington on New Year’s Day and he failed to beat home a single runner, but Griffiths is confident that the Written Tycoon gelding can produce a much improved performance in the Australia Stakes.
It Is Written has recorded seven wins and six placings in his 22 race starts at Moonee Valley and his record at the track has given Griffiths plenty of confidence that he can record the biggest win of his career to date in the 2016 Australia Stakes.
“He was hopeless – he doesn’t really go at Flemington down the straight,” Griffiths told Racing Ahead.
“He needed to have the hit-out to get rid of some nervous energy and he is a better horse for having the run.
“We had a purpose to have a hit-out and that is all we got out of it.
“I don’t think that you can use it as a form reference because he is a different horse at Moonee Valley.
“His form there is so much different to any other track, so we didn’t read anything into his negative performance at Flemington.
“I am quite bullish about his chances because his record is so good there and you are always far more optimistic when he goes to Moonee Valley because he has very rarely let us down at that track.”
It Is Written had his final serious piece of track work ahead of the Australia Stakes with regular hoop Matthew Allen in the saddle and he impressed onlookers with his performance.
Griffiths was particularly pleased with the way that It Is Written finished off his piece of work and he is confident that the seven-year-old is spot on for his Group 2 assignment.
“He galloped beautiful this morning and I am really happy with him,” Griffiths said.
“He loves the track and he ran second in the race last year.
“We hope that we can go one spot better this year.
“He worked over 1000 and he strode home his last 600 in 35 and a half.
“He was really strong in the last 200 and Matthew Allen was pleased with the way that he worked.
“We head there with a little bit of confidence.”
It Is Written will contest the Australia Stakes for the third year in a row after finishing third in 2014 and second last year.