Peter Moody’s Moment Of Change returns to racing in Monday’s W. J. Adams Stakes at Sandown and will be out to break the sequence of recent first up efforts, which have seen him run second as a short priced favourite in three of his past four fresh runs.Shamal Wind also returns from a spell, as was the case last year when she swept home to take out this event, further enhancing her wonderful fresh record. The pair clearly rate on top with The Quarterback the leading contender to fill a place and continue his good form of late.
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1. MOMENT OF CHANGE – L Nolen (3) 61.5kgs
Returns from an eight week let-up after running sixth (3.3 lengths) in the G1 Winterbottom Stakes over in Perth. He was off similar breaks when eighth (only ¾ of a length) behind Lankan Rupee in the remarkable Manikato Stakes finish, and a head away from Richie’s Vibe in the Australian Stakes this time last year. Has to lug a big weight here but is drawn to be in the right spot throughout and sure to be right in the mix again.
2. SHAMAL WIND – D Dunn (1)
Last year’s winner of this race put together a consistent if not frustrating campaign last time in, finishing fourth first up in the Carlyon Stakes (1000m) followed by four consecutive third placings including a half head to Miracles of Life in the G2 Caulfield Sprint. The 5yo mare returns off an eleven week break and has an impeccable fresh record, winning four from five first up. Sticking with a proven formula again this year and with Moment Of Change entered, she’ll get the same weight as she carried to victory last year.
3. VATICAN – C Williams (5) 54kgs
Comes back to racing off a ten week break and was off an eight week break when running fourth (3 lengths) to Shamal Wind in last year’s race. Had 58.5kgs and barrier twelve last year and will enjoy getting down to 54kgs this year, particularly after carrying high weights last campaign. Honest galloper who’ll give his best but last win was over a year ago now and at this level, just needs to find that extra length.
4. THE QUARTERBACK – M Allen (7) 54kgs
The Robbie Griffiths trained galloper made it back to back wins with victory in the Kensington Stakes (1000m) at Flemington last start, finishing well down the centre of the track to defeat Sumakaray by a head with Hard Stride (who contests Saturday’s Australia Stakes at Moonee Valley) third. Punters thought enough of him that he was installed $3F for G2 Sportingbet Stakes at Adelaide last year (ran fifth on a slow track, behind Miracles Of Life) and his form is just as strong leading into this event.
5. SUMARAKAY – (2) 54kgs
Drew wide, pushed forward but wilted badly from an on-pace position first up off a lengthy spell to run last of ten in the Listed Christmas Stakes (1200m) at Caulfield but the 5yo mare bounced back well at her only run since, running a head second to The Quarterback in the Listed Kensington Stakes (1000m). Made good improvement last start and a similar rate of improvement will see her competitive here.
6. CANALI – (4) 54kgs
8yo who has been struggling for from over the past twelve months. He’ll take up the running here but with Moment Of Change keeping him honest and several well-credentialed challengers ready to bounce in the straight, it’s hard to see him running out a solid six furlong and holding challengers at bay.
7. KLISHINA – K Mallyon (6) 54kgs
5yo mare from the David Bourne Seymour stables who after two fair runs back from a spell, was thrown into the deep in and the Listed Kensington Stakes last start. Unwanted in betting ($15 – $26), she went better than her price suggested running sixth (1.7 lengths) behind The Quarterback and Sumakaray after finding traffic in the straight.