Australia's leading trainer Peter Moody won his first Group 1 race of the season and staked a claim for another when Moment Of Change scored a stunning win in yesterday's Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield.
Moody took special satisfaction from Moment Of Change's success, which came after the horse began his campaign in Sydney where he won a Listed race and was placed in the Group 3 Tramway Handicap.
"He's a bloody good horse, that was a super win," Moody said.
"He won at Warwick Farm not handling the track and then he had a wide gate there last time and still ran very well."
Moody considered running the gelding in Saturday's Epsom Handicap (1600m) at Randwick, but the difficulties he had racing clock- wise influenced him to return to Melbourne.
Having dodged Sydney's big spring mile, Moment Of Change will tackle one of Melbourne's major spring races over the same distance, the Group 1 Toorak Handicap.
Moment Of Change ($4.40) earned added credit yesterday by jumping from barrier 15 and pushing forward from the start to sit just adrift of his stablemate, leader Mr Make Believe.
Jockey Luke Nolen got clear running from the 250m and Moment Of Change strolled away to a 1 1/2 -length win over We're Gonna Rock ($7.50), with Queenslander Solzhenitsyn taking third, another 1 1/4 lengths away.
From a future spring feature point of view, the run of Glass Harmonium into fourth place was the standout. Burdened with the topweight of 58kg, having his first run since March and first since having two throat operations, Glass Harmonium showed his customary gate speed and then hit the line strongly.
Trainer Mike Moroney said he would decide in the coming week where to head next, but he favoured the Group 1 Caulfield Stakes (2000m), with a start in his second Cox Plate his only other spring target.
Meanwhile, trainer Peter Snowden almost apologised for Epaulette after his narrow win in the Group 3 Caulfield Guineas Prelude (1400m).
He will probably be doing the same after the colt's next start, the Group 1 Caulfield Guineas (1600m) on October 13.
The colt, after announcing himself with victory in the Group 1 Golden Rose in Sydney at his previous start, looked to have little more to give in beating the recent maiden winner Let Go Lenni.
But Snowden explained that Epaulette had a habit of switching off after reaching the lead.
"He'll only chase what's in front of him," he said. "It's the same in trackwork, he'll chase them down and then ease up when in front."
When he runs in the Guineas on Saturday week, Epaulette will have the super colt Pierro to chase - which means he will probably be doing a lot of it.
"He's a bloody good horse, that was a super win. He won at Warwick Farm not handling the track.""Trainer * Peter Moody *
Australian Associated Press