Trainer Peter Moody has revealed that he plans to give talented sprinter Flamberge his first attempt at Group level in the Standish Handicap (1200m) at Flemington on New Year’s Day.
Flamberge will have the second start of his summer campaign in the Lanec Services Handicap (1000m) at Flemington on Saturday, after winning the East Malvern Bank Handicap (1100m) first-up at Caulfield, but will need to be at his very best after being allocated 59.5kg by Racing Victoria handicappers.
Moody has opted to take a claim of two kilos, with apprentice jockey Jake Duffy taking the ride, and told Racing Victoria that he is confident that the Exceed And Excel gelding is good enough to carry the heavy weight to victory this weekend and stamp himself as a contender for the Standish Handicap.
“He does love the straight and he’s from a good straight-track family,” Moody said.
“1100 back to 1000 is probably not the ideal scenario, but he has pleased us and his main aim is the race on New Year’s Day.
“That’s the race we’re aiming him at, so you’d want to see him run well in a 0-84.
“He’s up a lot in weight, he pays the penalty there, but he’s in good shape.”
Flamberge started his racing career with back-to-back wins in the Ballarat Come To Life Maiden (1100m) and the Programmed Property Services Handicap (1200m) before failing to fire in the Tattsbet.Com Handicap (1200m) in June Last Year.
The full brother to Curtana finished a narrow second in both the Listed MSS Security Stakes (1100m) and Ascend Sales Trophies Plate (1200m) during the 2013 Melbourne Festival Of Racing but returned to the winners stall with a narrow victory over Group winner Lankan Rupee in the Living Legends Handicap (1000m) at Flemington on April 13.
Flamberge finished his autumn campaign with two solid third place performances in handicap races at Caulfield and returned to the races with a win just over a fortnight ago; with even Moody admitting that he has been surprised with the progress of the speedy gelding.
“I always told David Moodie I thought he would struggle because of his size, but he’s continued to make a mug out of me which I’m very pleased about,” Moody said.
Flamberge is currently a narrow favourite in Lanec Services Handicap betting markets at odds of $3.20, followed by Mark Kavanagh-trained Schumacher ($5) and last-start winner General Jackson ($7).