Leading Sydney jockey Hugh Bowman believes that imported stayer Moriarty is a genuine winning chance in the Group 1 Chipping Norton Stakes (1600m) at Warwick Farm tomorrow.
The 2014 Chipping Norton Stakes betting market is dominated by the returning It’s A Dundeel and two-time Group 1 winner Boban, but Moriarty is arguably the form runner in the race after impressing with a fast-finishing third behind Appearance and Speediness in the Group 2 Apollo Stakes (1400m) at Royal Randwick a fortnight ago.
Bowman admits that It’s A Dundeel will prove hard to beat, but told Racing Ahead this morning that Moriarty’s fitness edge gives him an advantage over the resuming superstar in the Chipping Norton Stakes this weekend.
“You have the top weight here It’s A Dundeel and he was a Cox Plate winner, so I’m not sure if Moriarty has the class of It’s A Dundeel, but on the other hand Moriarty has had two runs back and both have caught the eye,” Bowman said.
“1600 is going to be much more suitable to him than the 1400 was last start and the 1200 first-up.
“I have fitness on my side and I think this horse is a genuine chance of winning the race.
“I think it is going to be a bit of a tactical affair, with only eight runners and at weight-for-age, but my horse has just kept improving since he came over from England.
“If It’s A Dundeel is at all vulnerable then I think that I am the one that can beat him.”
Moriarty was prepared by Richard Hannon in the United Kingdom and joined the stable of Chris Waller at the end of 2011 before making his Australian racing debut at Warwick Farm in April during the 2012 Sydney Autumn Racing Carnival.
The Clodovil gelding worked his way through the grades during 2012 and broke through for his maiden black type race win when he took out the Listed Tattersalls Club Cup (2000m) in impressive fashion at Rosehill Gardens on New Year’s Day last year.
Moriarty scored a breakthrough win at Group level with a tough victory in the Brisbane Cup (2400m) during the 2013 Queensland Winter Racing Carnival and was far from disgraced during his spring campaign, which was highlighted by a win in the Group 2 Hill Stakes (2000m) and a third place finish behind Side Glance and Dear Demi in the Group 1 Mackinnon Stakes (2000m).
Bowman is chasing his fourth straight win in the Chipping Norton Stakes after previously recording wins with Danleigh (2011) and Shoot Out (2012 and 2013).