Peter Moody is happy with Dissident heading into the 2015 All Aged Stakes at Royal Randwick this weekend, but the leading trainer is concerned about the rain that is forecast to hit Sydney on Friday.
The Royal Randwick track is currently rated a soft five, but there is expected to be plenty of rain in Sydney in the 24 hours before the All Aged Stakes meeting this weekend and the track could be downgraded significantly.
Dissident won the Group 2 Hobartville Stakes (1400m) at Rosehill Gardens on a wet track during the 2014 Sydney Autumn Racing Carnival, but Moody told Sky Racing HQ that the four-year-old is far from his best on rain affected surfaces and he is very keen for the wet weather to stay away ahead of the 2015 All Aged Stakes this weekend.
“He is not at his best on soft ground,” Moody said.
“He is a Group 2 winner on slow, heavy is certainly a big no/no, but at the end of the day that decision will be left with the new connections as to whether he takes his place or not.
“He is effective on dead or slow, but anything worse is certainly a great concern.
“It amazed me at Randwick last Saturday how it came back compared to the previous week, but let’s hope we don’t have to go through any of that.”
Dissident started his autumn preparation with a third place finish behind Mourinho in the Group 2 Australia Stakes (1200m) at Moonee Valley on January 24, but he returned to winning form with a professional victory in the Group 1 Orr Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield on February 14 before he suffered a disappointing defeat as an odds-on favourite in the Group 1 Futurity Stakes (1400m) at the same venue a fortnight later.
Moody believes that Dissident had excuses for his Futurity Stakes defeat and he said that the Sebring entire has worked strongly since arriving in Sydney ahead of the All Aged Stakes.
“He pulled up with a fair bit of mucus in his airway and it was out of character,” Moody said.
“We went into that race expecting him to win again based on his previous good win and he was disappointing.
“We probably rode him with a bit too much disregard for the opposition from the outside draw that day, which didn’t help his cause, but I think the major discomfort came from the mucus in his airways.
“We got that sorted, it cleared up and he has had the nice break between runs.
“He presents in great shape there on Saturday, at his pet trip and at a track where he has won a Group 1.
“We took him up to Sydney last week and he had a spin around there on the grass on Friday morning.
“We were doing a test for the new timing system, so we were able to work on the course proper there and he worked on slow ground leading into last weekend’s meeting and he worked super, we were very pleased with him.”
If Dissident beats a star-studded 2015 All Aged Stakes field he will stamp himself as the leading contender for the 2014/2015 Australian Horse Of The Year title.