Trainer Peter Moody is expecting progressive galloper Strawberry Boy to be victorious when he resumes in the BMW Handicap (1400m) at Caulfield tomorrow.
Strawberry Boy was originally nominated to make his Group 1 debut in the Memsie Stakes (1400m) on the same card and Moody told Racing Ahead that he attempted to convince connections that the step-up in class was the right option for the son of Redoute’s Choice.
The owners of the gelding, which includes John Singleton, decided to avoid the hot field on show in the Memsie Stakes and tackle the easier BMW Handicap, which Moody expects Strawberry Boy to win comfortably.
“I expect him to win,” Moody said on RSN.
“He is very fit and very well.
“I pushed hard with the owners to run him in the Memsie but they opted for the softer option.
“I was aiming him at the Group 1 so what beats him tomorrow is in for a big spring.”
While Moody missed out on the opportunity to give Strawberry Boy his Group 1 debut in the Memsie Stakes this weekend, he is eyeing the Toorak Handicap (1600m) at Caulfield on October 16 as the Group 1 target for the five-year-old during the 2013 Spring Racing Carnival.
“I thought he was an ideal Toorak type horse,” Moody said.
“Whether he can lift to the fast handicaps I am not sure.
“I was looking at taking advantage of the stayers resuming in the Memsie and having him trained near enough up to his top to run well in a race like that.
“Coming back to the Handicap, if I am any sort of a judge, he should be going close in it.”
Strawberry Boy is undefeated since joining Moody’s stable at the start of the year, recording wins in the Secondbite Fresh Food Handicap (1400m) at Flemington and The Chase Hotel Handicap (1600m) at Caulfield.
His former trainer Gai Waterhouse was hoping that he would be a Caulfield Cup (2400m) contender during the 2012 Spring Racing Carnival but he failed to live up to expectations and was sent to the spelling paddock after finishing third in both the Group 3 Kingston Town Stakes (2000m) and Group 3 Colin Stephen Quality (2400m).
Moody is chasing his first win in the Group 1 Toorak Handicap after King’s Rose finished a narrow second behind King Mufhasa in the 2011 edition of the race.