Moment Of Change Leads Way in C. F. Orr Win
Pacesetter Moment Of Change found more in the closing strides to repel a strong threat from Eurozone, winning the Sportingbet C. F. Orr Stakes (Aus-I) by a head Feb. 8 at Caulfield Racecourse.
W. S. Cox Plate (AUs-I) victor Shamus Award ran with the winner, who set a hot tempo, before Eurozone made a late rush to challenge in the straight and sprinted up to take second. Shamus Award, making his first start since winning the Cox Plate Oct. 26, held on for third another 1 1/2 lengths back in the six-horse field.
Cutting back in distance after lackluster efforts in the Melbourne Cup (Aus-I), group I winners Foreteller and Hawkspur finished fourth and sixth, respectively.
Moment Of Change was timed in 1:23 flat under Luke Nolen while snapping a 10-race losing streak and adding a second group I triumph to his resume.
The bay gelding most recently finished second for trainer Peter Moody to Richie's Vibe in the Australia Stakes (Aus-II) Jan. 24 at Moonee Valley. That placing followed two runner-up finishes and a fourth to Buffering in group I races last fall. The C. F. Orr marked his first victory since capturing the Sir Rupert Clarke Stakes (Aus-I) in September 2012.
Overall, the 5-year-old Barely a Moment gelding has 6-5-4 career line from 20 career starts. His record also includes three seconds and a third in four other group I races, including the 2013 Lexus Newmarket Handicap.
Nolen and Moody have now won the three of the past four editions of the C. F. Orr. Black Caviar was victorious in 2012 and Typhoon Tracy struck in 2011.
"He carved out a good gallop," Moody, who trains Moment Of Change for a partnership, told www.horseracing.com.au. "He's been a fraction behind all prep, but we were confident enough that he was forward enough today.
"I think there is nice improvement in him and he will come back for the Futurity (Aus-I, also at 1,400 meters Feb. 22 at Caulfield)."
Sovereign Stud bred Moment of Change in Australia out of the Metal Storm mare Europium. He is the top performer for multiple Australian group I winner Barely a Moment, a 12-year-old son of Gilded Time who stands at Cornerstone Stud in South Australia.
Also on the card, 2-year-olds took the stage in preps for the Aus$1 million Blue Diamond Stakes later this month and left racing fans eager for the winners to square off in main event.
Darley homebred Earthquake dominated 10 overmatched rivals in the fillies division of Blue Diamond Prelude.
The 2-year-old daughter of Exceed And Excel accelerated clear of her opponents in the stretch to notch a 2 3/4-length win as the odds-on favorite under Damian Browne, cementing herself as a favorite for the Aus$1 million main event Feb. 22. She was timed in 1:03.71 for the 1,100 meters (about five furlongs) on good turf.
Trained by Peter Snowden, the bay filly out of Cataclysm, by Marauding, won her debut by 2 1/2 lengths Nov. 9 at Randwick in her only other start.
Rubick also is perfect in both career starts after taking the colts and geldings division of the Blue Diamond Prelude by a length under Brenton Avdulla while completing the distance in same time as Earthquake.
Coolmore and partners bought into the son of Encosta de Lago out of Sliding Cube, by Rock of Gibraltar, just prior to the race and he will join the stallion roster at Coolmore in the Hunter Valley of New South Wales when he is retired from racing.
Trained by Gerald Ryan, Rubick's ownership group also includes Werrett Bloodstock Ltd. and Stallion Racing. He impressed in his career bow, winning by 2 3/4 lengths Jan. 25 at Randwick.
"The Timeform rating for his debut was extraordinary. His figure of 122+ is already enough for him to rate amongst the very best Australian 2-year-old colts of the last decade and the freakish natural ability that this horse possesses is a very rare commodity," Coolmore general manager Michael Kirwan said.
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