Last season’s headline two year old Fontiton will kick off her new season under lights in the Group 1 $450,000 City Jeep Moir Stakes (1000m) at Moonee Valley on October 2.
Trainer Robert Smerdon has a sprinting program mapped out for Fontiton and has dismissed any thought of trying the filly over 1600m and has ruled out the Group 1 $500,000 Schweppes Thousand Guineas at Caulfield as a Spring Carnival target.
Smerdon has earmarked the Group 1 $500,000 Coolmore Stud Stakes (1200m) at Flemington on October 31 as one of the major Spring goals for Fontiton.
“We’re thinking about the Moir,” Smerdon told AAP.
“We didn’t nominate her for the Thousand Guineas and we’re going to keep her to sprinting.
“She’ll head towards the Coolmore Stud Stakes.”
As a two year old Fontiton was a winner at her first three races, scoring her debut win in the $250,000 Inglis Banner (1000m) at Moonee Valley on October, 2014.
Smerdon then gave the Turffontein filly a break before preparing her for a Blue Diamond Stakes campaign which started with a win in the Group 3 $150,000 Blue Diamond Preview (F) (1000m) at Sandown on January 26 followed by a win in the Group 2 $200,000 Blue Diamond Prelude (F) (1100m) at Caulfield on February 14.
On the back of her impeccable form, Fontiton was sent out the $2.25 favourite for the Group 1 $1m Blue Diamond Stakes (1200m) at Caulfield on February 28 but after travelling just behind the leaders, failed to improve in the straight to finish fifth to Pride Of Dubai.
The Moir Stakes will be run over 1000m again this year after being a 1200m sprint since 2007 and Fontiton will be taking on the open sprinters in the weight for age scamper including two time winner Buffering.
The Robert Heathcote trained Buffering will be making his fourth appearance in the Moir Stakes and as well as his wins in 2012 and 2014, ran second to the Mick Price trained Samaready in 2013.
Heathcote is a bit concerned that the 1000m might provide some slick opposition for Buffering who could take him on in the early stages and add extra pressure to the race.
“They have put the Moir back to 1000m this year, which probably isn’t ideal for me because there will be a few whippets in there that might make it hard for Buffering to lead,” Heathcote said.