Co-trainer Peter Snowden believes the stable’s in-form sprinter Redzel is going too well not to take a crack at the Group 1 field of stars set to line-up at Moonee Valley in Friday evening’s A.J. Moir Stakes.
Racing Victoria received 11 nominations for this year’s $500,000 Group 1 City Jeep Moir Stakes (1000m) including seven-time elite level champion Chautauqua and the race’s three-time winner Buffering (2012, 2014, 2015).
Snitzel four-year-old Redzel meanwhile is yet to run in a Group 1 field, but Snowden has taken confidence he’s a livewire top three chance after his strong recent form and nice Moonee Valley gallop on Monday morning.
“He’s going really well,” Snowden told Racing Victoria.
A winner of four of his 11 career runs to date, the gelding took out the July Sprint (1100m) in the wet at Canterbury on July 23 before winning again first-up on August 27.
Freshened-up since, Redzel trialled nicely on September 20 running third to Golden Slipper winner Capitalist over 800m in Sydney at Randwick and has been running very smart times according to Snowden.
“You’d probably say he’s outclassed, but if you look at the times he’s running and the way he’s winning, he’s definitely worth a crack at it,” he said.
“It’s 1000m here, I know its weight-for-age and meeting Buffering and Chautauqua who are far superior horses, but speed is what it is, and if you’ve got it, why not use it?”
The pre-field Moir Stakes odds at Ladbrokes.com.au are dominated by the Hawkes Racing-trained Chautauqua whose last run was the Group 1 Chairman’s Sprint (1200m) victory in Hong Kong on May 1.
The Encosta De Lago six-year-old is undefeated at Moonee Valley and has won two-from-two over the 1000m.
A first-up flyer, the world’s top sprinter also has five wins and a second from six resuming runs to date ahead of his return on Friday night.
Redzel meanwhile can be found further down the markets at $17.
The other top fancies include Mick Price’s Blue Diamond Stakes winner Extreme Choice ($3.60) and the Darren Weir-trained dual Group 1 winner Lucky Hussler ($7).
Not A Single Doubt colt Extreme Choice won his opening three career starts, including the Group 1 Blue Diamond Stakes (1200m), before his last start eighth in the Group 1 Golden Slipper (1200m) on March 19.
Price prepared the 2013 Moir Stakes winning mare Samaready to victory three years ago, but concedes the task ahead of Extreme Choice this season is difficult.
“I’m under no illusion about how tough the race is for him against the older weight-for-age horses,” Price said.
“It’s all about Group 1s, isn’t it?
“In the spring a three-year-old versus the older weight for age horses it is difficult, but the owners wanted to run in the Group 1. If he can pull it off it really helps his service fee.
“I think he’s come up well, he’s sound, he’s a problem free horse. It’s a matter on the night how he copes with the pressure.”