Sydney jockey Brenton Avdulla will be the new rider for Sir Moments in the Group 2 $358,000 Sky Thoroughbred Central A.D. Hollindale Stakes (1800m) at the Gold Coast on Saturday.
Avdulla replacess the suspended Tim Bell who has been aboard the Steven O’Dea trained four year old in his previous two campaigns and was aboard last start to win the Listed $100,000 50 RML Logic Tails Stakes (1630m) at Doomben on April 11.
Sir Moments is stepping up to the 1800m for the first time and O’Dea said that was the only query for the four year old who is back in winning form.
“He has really come along from his last-start win. We are in uncharted waters a bit with him over the middle distances but I think he will race well,” O’Dea told AAP.
“We were lucky to get an experienced jockey such as Brenton and I think his style will suit Sir Moments.”
O’Dea rates Sir Moments on the same level as Hollindale Stakes rival Rudy who performed well over the Sydney Autumn Carnival with a two and three quarter lengths fourth to Kermadec in the Group 1 $3m The Star 150th Doncaster Mile (1600m) at Randwick on April 6.
“Most people agree there isn’t much between Sir Moments and Rudy, even their rating is the same,” O’Dea said.”
“Rudy ran fourth in a very strong Doncaster at his last start. When we went to Sydney last year there were a few niggling problems with Sir Moments and you didn’t see the best of him.
“He is still learning about racing but he is ready to show his full potential.”
Sir Moments thrust himself into the limelight during the 2014 Brisbane Winter Carnival with a stunning win in the Group 2 $350,000 Sky Racing Queensland Guineas (1400m) at Eagle Farm followed by a win in the Listed $125,000 Best Security Daybreak Lover (1600m) at Eagle Farm again a week later.
Sir Moments’ pattern of racing is for him to settle back in the field and finish hard as he did in winning the Queensland Guineas as well as his last start win at Doomben and Avdulla will have to try to slot him into the field from barrier seven if the four emergencies don’t gain a start.
Rudy has drawn barrier twelve in the original draw with Luke Tarrant retaining the ride and 2012 Melbourne Cup winner Green Moon, with Chad Schofield, has been handed the visitor’s drew and is likely to jump from the outside gate of the final fourteen horse field.