The Hill Stakes odds of Moriarty have continued to shorten and the talented stayer is now favourite to take out the Group 2 event for the second year in a row.
Moriarty opened at a quote of $5.50 when the Hill Stakes betting market was released on Thursday, but there has been consistent support for the son of Clodovil in the past 48 hours and he has overtaken Australian Derby winner Criterion as Hill Stakes favourite.
The six-year-old started his 2014 Sydney Autumn Racing Carnival campaign with a promising fifth in the Group 3 Show County Quality (1200m) at Royal Randwick on August 23 and was far from disgraced when fifth in the Group 2 Chelmsford Stakes (1600m) and trainer Chris Waller is confident that the imported galloper is ready to peak in the Group 2 Hill Stakes (2000m) this weekend.
“Moriarty is third-up from a spell and getting back on to a good track over a suitable distance,” Waller told Racing Ahead.
“He won the race last year and there are a lot of ticks there.”
Waller will have three runners in the Hill Stakes field; with Bagman and Junoob also set to back-up from the Chelmsford Stakes.
Junoob has performed only fairly in both the Show County Quality and Chelmsford Stakes, but Waller is confident that the Haafhd gelding will produce an improved performance on a firmer surface, while Bagman is coming off arguably the best performance of his career to dare when third behind Hawkspur and Royal Descent in the Chelmsford Stakes.
“Bagman just went super last start on the back of two Melbourne wins,” Waller said.
“He ran third over the mile at weight-for-age level and he is right where he needs to be.
“Junoob will bounce back like Moriarty on a good track.
“I think that we have three really good chances.
“There are some others in there that go pretty good, but my three will keep them honest for sure.”
Junoob is on the third line of the Hill Stakes betting market with Ladbrokes Australia at odds of $5, while Bagman has been backed into a quote of $7 to record his maiden win at Group level.
Waller is chasing his second win in the Hill Stakes after winning with Moriarty last year and finishing in the placings with Hawk Island (second in 2011), Triple Honour (second in 2010) and Hurrah (third in 2008).