The widest barrier has not stopped Group One winner Moment Of Change being installed an odds-on favourite to return to the winner’s circle in the Group Two Australia Stakes.
Moment Of Change is the class runner in Friday night’s 1200m weight-for-age event at Moonee Valley as he bids to win for the first time since his Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes success in the spring of 2012.
The Peter Moody-trained gelding wasn’t able to crack it for another big race win last year but raced at the highest level and was consistent with four Group One placings including agonising seconds in the Newmarket Handicap and his most recent outing in the Winterbottom Stakes in Perth.
Jockey Linda Meech re-unites with Moment Of Change in a race for the first time since their second to Black Caviar in last year’s Group One Lightning Stakes, and would love to see him score a confidence-boosting win.
“I think that’s probably why he’s in the race. To get his confidence up and get a win under his belt before he heads into the autumn carnival,” Meech said.
Moment Of Change has the outside gate in the field of 10 but was the $1.65 favourite with TAB fixed odds on Wednesday.
The sprinter’s handicapper rating of 109 is 12 points higher than his nearest rival, second favourite Richie’s Vibe who is on the second line of betting at $5.
Meech has won three from five on Moment Of Change with placings in the Hobartville Stakes and Lightning Stakes and is looking to add to that despite admitting the draw made things “a little tricky”.
The barrier is Meech’s only concern but she admits Moment Of Change has a class edge on his rivals.
“He’s a genuine Group horse and a few of the others probably haven’t shown as much as him,” Meech said.
Luke Nolen has ridden Moment Of Change in his past eight starts but took a summer break and is expected to return to race riding on Sunday.
Meech is excited to re-unite with Moment Of Change who is one of the best horses she has ridden in a race.
“I galloped him on Tuesday morning and he seems to be going as well as he ever goes,” Meech said.