Moment Of Change will resume over 1200 metres in the Group 2 Australia Stakes at Moonee Valley on Friday, but owner Rob Slade has revealed that the talented sprinter could step-up to 1600 metres in the Group 1 Doncaster Mile (1600m) later in his autumn campaign.
Trainer Peter Moody revealed at the end of last year that Moment Of Change would contest the Group 1 Orr Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield on February 8 and the Group 1 Futurity Stakes (1400m) at the same venue on February 22, during the 2014 Melbourne Festival Of Racing, and Slade told TVN yesterday that connections will not make a decision on future race starts for the Barely A Moment gelding until they see how he performs over 1400 metres.
“We will have look after the Futurity at what we do,” Slade said.
“Do we go back to the Newmarket or take him to Sydney for a suitable race?
“With the money on offer in Sydney we will obviously have to look at that as well and races like the George Ryder and the Doncaster we will have a look at.”
Moment Of Change has previously performed well over 1400 metres, finishing third in the Group 3 Tramway Handicap (1400m) before winning the Group 1 Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes (1400m) during the 2012 Spring Racing Carnival, but finished twelfth behind Mosheen in his only previous start over a mile in the 2012 Group 1 Royal Randwick Guineas (1600m).
The five-year-old will resume over a more familiar distance in the Australia Stakes at Moonee Valley on Friday and looks to have a clear edge over his rivals; with bookmakers installing the Group 1 winner as a $1.60 favourite to win the $220,000 event.
Slade said that Moment Of Change is not fully wound-up for his first-up assignment, but still believes that the talented gelding will prove tough to beat in the Group 2 event.
“His preparation is not all about Friday night, but on ability he is the best horse in the race.”
Luke Nolen has ridden Moment Of Change in the majority of his 18 career starts, but the leading jockey will not return to the saddle until the Australia Day meeting at Werribee on Sunday.
Linda Meech will reunite with Moment Of Change and is chasing his first victory at Group level since she took out the 2009 Tasmanian Derby (2200m) with Betwixt.