Connections of Moment Of Change aren’t concerned with a wide barrier as the five year old wears blinkers for the first time in the Group 1 $450,000 Programmed Moir Stakes (1200m) at Moonee Valley tonight.
Moment Of Change will jump from gate eight in the ten horse field and managing part owner Rob Slade said the team was happy for him to have plenty of galloping room.
“We’d prefer to draw out there, we’re quite happy with that, it gives him some room and that’s what he wants,” Slade told Racing Network.
Premier trainer Peter Moody has decided to put the blinkers on Moment Of Change after running second first-up in the Group 2 $175,000 Mitty’s McEwen Stakes (1000m) at Moonee Valley a fortnight ago.
Moment Of Change hasn’t been in the winner’s circle since winning the Group 1 $400,000 Clamms Seafood Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield twelve months ago and Slade said the addition of the blinkers could be what is needed to find that winning edge again.
“We really think the blinkers could sharpen him up,” Slade said.
“His father was good in them and he’s ready to wear them now.”
Even though Moment Of Change hasn’t collected a recent winner’s cheque, he hasn’t been far off the mark with two Group 1 seconds at Flemington during the Melbourne Autumn Carnival this year.
He was sandwiched in between stable mates Black Caviar and Golden Archer when Moody trained the trifecta in the Group 1 $500,000 Black Caviar Lightning (1000m) and then was pipped on the post by Shamexpress in the Group 1 $1m Lexus Newmarket Handicap (1200m).
Slade said that the plan is to stick to the Group 1 sprints for the remainder of the Spring Carnival, but if Moment Of Change showed that he was looking for more ground, the syndicate could change direction and head to the Group 1 $1m Emirates Stakes (1600m) at Flemington on the last day for the Melbourne Cup Carnival.
“Our plan was always the McEwen into the Moir into the Manikato and the Patinack Farm, and nothing has changed at this stage,” Slade said.
“Mind you, if we feel he’s looking for more ground we can always go to the Emirates Stakes via the Waterford Crystal Mile at Moonee Valley – that would be our Plan B.”
Moment Of Change has been marked as a $9 chance in tonight’s Moir Stakes with the Robert Heathcote trained Buffering the $4.20 favourite as he strives to win his first Group 1 trophy after being placed on nine occasions at the elite level.
In a tight betting race, Bel Sprinter is the second pick at $4.60 just in front of the Peter Snowden trained Epaulette and Gerald Ryan’s Snitzerland at $4.80 with last start winner Samaready marked at $7.50.
The Moonee Valley track, with the rail out three metres, has been rated a Dead 5 this morning with the forecast of only a few late showers today with a top temperature of 21 degrees.