Ball Of Muscle will be the sole Joe Pride-trained representative in the 2015 Moir Stakes and the leading Sydney trainer believes that the promising sprinter is primed for the Group 1 event that will be held at Moonee Valley on Friday night.
Ball Of Muscle returned to racing in the Group 3 Concorde Stakes (1000m) at Royal Randwick on September 5 and he started the race as a dominant favourite, but he tired in the final stages and finished third behind Shiraz and Craftiness before he produced a much improved effort to finish a very close second behind Rebel Dane in the Group 2 The Shorts (1100m) at Royal Randwick on September 10.
Pride was thrilled with the improvement that Ball Of Muscle made between his first and second starts and he told Racing Ahead that the son of Dubawi is ready to peak in what he believes is a very open edition of the Moir Stakes.
“He had a gallop reverse way on Saturday morning around the course proper at Warwick Farm and he has done particularly well,” Pride said.
“1000 metres is a bit of a specialist (distance) and he is really good over the short course.
“He is in good order and I think that he deserves a crack at a Group 1.
“You look at the line-up here and there is not many Group 1 winners in the race, but some really nice up and coming horses as he is.
“He is seasoned, he is fit and he is ready to take them on.
“He obviously just got nosed out by a genuine Group 1 horse on his day and it has him primed for a peak run third-up.”
Ball Of Muscle will make his Group 1 debut in the Moir Stakes, but he previously won at Group 2 level when he led from start to finish in the QTC Cup (1200m) during the 2015 Brisbane Winter Racing Carnival and he was placed in the Group 2 Victory Stakes (1200m) before his credible efforts in the Concorde Stakes and The Shorts.
Ball Of Muscle is currently available at 2015 Moir Stakes odds of $9, while undefeated filly Petits Filous ($2.50) is a clear favourite from beaten Blue Diamond Stakes winner Fontiton ($4.40), The Goodwood winner Flamberge ($8) and veteran sprinter Buffering ($8).
Pride is chasing his first win in the Moir Stakes after he previously missed the placings with Tiger Tees (fourth behind Buffering in 2012) and Red Oog (fourth behind California Dane in 2006).