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A stint on the water walker could be the key to Sea Lord’s chances of defending his Australia Stakes title at Moonee Valley.

After his last-start failure in the Standish Handicap on New Year’s Day, trainer Stephen Brown gave Sea Lord a break from stable life and sent him sent him away for a freshen-up.

Sea Lord claimed the biggest win of his career in the Group Two Australia Stakes (1200m) 12 months ago but hasn’t won a race since although he came close when second in a Listed sprint at Flemington in November.

“He ran well at Flemington on Melbourne Cup day and we didn’t really give him a let-up and we ran him again at Flemington (in the Standish) and he went pretty ordinary,” Brown said.

“We’ve had him out out at the water walker for a couple of weeks since that run and he’s done a treat.

“We’ve tried to resurrect him and freshen him up a bit but this will be his last run in.”

Brown said Sea Lord returned to the stables on Sunday to prepare for the Australia Stakes after his stint at Fulmen Park working on the water water.

“We’re just trying to freshen him up and he did plenty out there, the bloke assures me,” Brown said.

Stephen Baster will ride Sea Lord in the weight-for-age sprint which received just seven nominations on Monday.

Brown is also counting on Sea Lord’s affinity for Moonee Valley where he has won four times from five starts.

“He loves Moonee Valley. He’s won most of his races there and we’re just hoping he can do it again,” Brown said.

Group One winner Moment Of Change is the headline Australia Stakes entry. His rating of 109 is 12 points higher than his nearest rivals among the initial seven entries with nominations extended until Tuesday.

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