Classy sprinter Moment Of Change has been included in the nominations for the Group 2 2014 Australia Stakes (1200m) that will be run at Moonee Valley on Friday night.
Moment Of Change has not been seen at the races since his 2013 Spring Racing Carnival campaign, where he raced well at Group 1 level without breaking through for a victory.
The Barely A Moment gelding resumed with a second place finish in the Group 2 McEwen Stakes (1000m) at Monee Valley on September 14 and had no luck in either the Group 1 Moir Stakes (1200m) or the Group 1 Manikato Stakes (1200m) at the same venue.
Moment Of Change finished a strong third behind Buffering and Shamexpress in the Group 1 VRC Sprint Classic (1200m) at Flemington on November 9 and looked as though he was going to record his second victory at Group 1 level in the Winterbottom Stakes (1200m) in Perth, but was pipped by Buffering in an extremely tight photo finish.
The five-year-old recorded his maiden Group 1 win when he took out the 2012 Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes over 1400 metres and he is set to step back-up to that distance; with both the Group 1 Orr Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield on February 8 and the Group 1 Futurity Stakes (1400m) at the same venue a fortnight later both on the agenda.
Another talented sprinter included in the nominations for the Australia Stakes is Tony Vasil-trained Richie’s Vibe, who has raced well in what has been a lengthy campaign that started back in August last year.
Richie’s Vibe recorded a dominant first-up win in Morphettville on August 31, but was unable to break through for a maiden win in Melbourne in the Listed Testa Rossa Stakes (1200m), Listed Weekend Hussler Stakes (1400m) or the City Jeep Handicap (1200m).
The Danerich gelding returned to the winners stall with a narrow win over Sea Lord and Pago Rock in the Listed MSS Security Sprint (1200m) at Flemington on Melbourne Cup Day and finished fourth in the Group 3 Sandown Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield on November 16 before finishing a narrow second behind Karacatis in the Listed Christmas Stakes (1200m) at Caulfield on Boxing Day.
Sunshine Coast-based General Jackson, Stephen Brown-trained Sea Lord, veteran gelding Spot On Target, the resuming Star Rolling and Leon Corstens-trained Tokugawa have also been included in the 2014 Australia Stakes nominations.