Managing co-owner Rob Slade has confirmed that Moment Of Change will not contest the 2014 Scahill Stakes at Ascot next Saturday and will instead be sent for a brief stint in the spelling paddock.
Moment Of Change was rated one of the leading contenders heading into the Group 1 Winterbottom Stakes (1200m) at Ascot on Saturday and at the 600 metre mark it looked as though he and Angelic Light were going to fight out the finish, but both tired in the final stages of the race and Moment Of Change could finish no better than sixth.
Slade told TVN yesterday that he was disappointed with the performance of Moment Of Change in the Winterbottom Stakes and he confirmed that the Barely A Moment gelding would be given a short break before returning to his stable to begin preparations to defend his titles the Group 1 Orr Stakes (1400m) and Group 1 Futurity Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield in February.
“The horse has obviously just come to the end of his prep; he raced very, very flat on Saturday,” Slade said.
“With the run he had in the race he probably should have won easily, but Luke (Nolen) got off and said there was nothing left when he asked him to go.
“We were all very surprised because he’d seemed so good in himself all week over there.”
Moment Of Change started his 2014 Spring Racing Carnival campaign with a tough second behind Hard Stride in the Listed Regal Roller Stakes (1200m) at Caulfield on August 16 before he suffered an injury when he finished at the tail of the field in the Group 1 Memsie Stakes (1400m) at the same venue on August 30.
The six-year-old returned to racing with a close eighth behind Lankan Rupee in the Group 1 Manikato Stakes (1200m) at Moonee Valley on October 24 and he finished a credible fifth behind Terravista in the Group 1 Darley Classic (1200m) at Flemington on November 8 before his disappointing effort in the Winterbottom Stakes on the weekend.
Moment Of Change will have the chance to become the first horse since former stablemate Typhoon Tracy (2010 and 2011) to win the Orr Stakes in back-to-back years, the first horse since Niconero (2008 and 2009) to win the Futurity Stakes in back-to-back years and the first horse since Manikato (1979 and 1980) to complete the Orr Stakes/Futurity Stakes double in back-to-back years.