Premier trainer Peter Moody is following the tried and tested path towards the Group 1 $1m Lexus Newmarket Handicap (1200m) at Flemington tomorrow with favourite Moment Of Change.
The 1000m Lightning down the Flemington straight has traditionally been one of the major lead ups to the Newmarket and Moody will be looking for his third win in the nation’s prestigious sprint after collecting the winning trophy with Wanted in 2010 and Black Caviar in 2011.
Last year’s winner Hay List was runner-up to Black Caviar in the Lightning before going on to win the Newmarket with 58.5kg while this year Moment Of Change was runner-up to Black Caviar again in the $500,000 WFA Group 1 that was renamed the Black Caviar Lightning.
Moody has always had a high opinion of Moment Of Change and wasn’t surprised to see the four year old win the Group 1 $400,000 Clamms Seafood Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield in the Spring or when he ran a slashing first up second to his super sprinter in the Lightning.
“I was very pleased, I have a big opinion of the horse so it didn’t surprise me, it might have surprised others, but not me,” Moody said.
Moment Of Change was having his first look at Flemington in the Lightning and Moody was happy with the way he handled it, gaining invaluable experience heading into the Newmarket.
“I just wanted him to have a look at it, he’d never had exposure to Flemington let alone the straight,” Moody said.
“I was more than happy with the run.”
Luke Nolen will be back on Moment Of Change after Linda Meech took the mount in the Lightning when Nolen was required to ride Black Caviar.
Moment Of Change rounded of his Newmarket preparation with an easy 800m gallop on Tuesday morning at Caulfield on the course proper in 52.40,s running home the final 600m in 38.51s.
Moment Of Change has been well supported and is currently the $2.70 favourite with Queensland three year old Better Than Ready also firming into $6 second pick while the unbeaten Perth sprinter Barakey is $6.50.
Fellow Western Australian galloper Luckygray is the only other runner under double figures at $8 with Fontelina and multiple Group 1 winner Ortensia sharing the next line of betting at $15.