Fresh from a Group One Underwood Stakes win, jockey Vlad Duric is hoping to land another top-level success when he rides Flamberge in the Moir Stakes at Moonee Valley.
Duric won last Saturday’s Underwood on Mourinho and also enjoyed Group One success on the Peter Moody-trained Flamberge in this year’s Goodwood in Adelaide.
Flamberge is one of three Group One winners in the 13-horse field for Friday night’s 1000m weight-for-age sprint but it’s the three-year-old fillies holding court with punters.
Petits Filous is favourite to continue an unbeaten start to her career with fellow filly Fontiton on the second line of betting.
Duric agrees Petits Filous is the horse to beat but expects the consistent Flamberge to run a big race.
“I’ve got a lot of respect for all of them but the fillies look really smart,” Duric said.
“Petits Filous looks like a potential star so she’s the one to beat with 51 (kilos) on her back and a good draw.
“But she’s going from a fillies race down the straight to taking on open class horses. It’s a big step up for her.
“My bloke is very hearty and very consistent and he’ll be super competitive.”
Flamberge resumed over the Moir Stakes course and distance and finished second to star sprinter Chautauqua in the McEwen Stakes.
Duric says Moody has kept Flamberge fresh for Friday night’s race, a ploy he believes is crucial to the horse’s chances.
“I think he’s probably in career-best form at the moment,” Duric said.
“He goes well at 1000 metres and Pete has kept him really fresh leading into this run again.
“He’s got a bit of a tricky barrier (in gate 12) but there will be plenty of speed and I’m sure he’ll be attacking the line really strong.”
Petits Filous is at $2.30 and has barrier five while the resuming Fontiton is at $4.40 and will jump from gate nine.
Buffering, who has won the race twice in the past three years when it was staged over 1200m, is on the third line of betting at $7.50 with Flamberge a $12 chance.
Ciaron Maher was pleased with the draw for Petits Filous, who has won the Quezette Stakes and Cap D’Antibes Stakes at her past two starts.
The filly is a two-time winner at Moonee Valley and Maher says she deserves her chance in the Moir.
“She looks bright and well and looks like she’s got a nice draw, so hopefully she can get the job done,” he said.