Peter Moody added yet another string to his outstanding Spring Carnival arsenal when Group 1 winner King’s Rose won Saturday’s $200,000 Group 2 New Zealand Bloodstock Memsie Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield.
The well-performed former Kiwi mare emerged as a major spring player with a fighting win over consistent weight-for-age performer Heart Of Dreams at her first Australian start.
Moody was thrilled to see the four-year-old transfer some impressive trackwork to raceday and capitalise on a gun Luke Nolen ride and register her seventh win from just 13 starts.
“I think she’s a high-quality mare,” Moody said. “Her work’s been very good at home and I’ve been very impressed with her.
“The barrier was the tricky thing but, once again, Luke just got her into a lovely spot and when she was on the back of Heart Of Dreams I thought she was going to be very hard to beat.”
That proved the way with the daughter of Redoute’s Choice, who lobbed on the back of Heart Of Dreams four horses back in the running line, sprinting sharply to claim the lead midway down the straight.
Heart Of Dreams, the heavily-backed $2.60 favourite, rallied over the final 100m but King’s Rose held on to score by a short head. Red Colossus stormed into third, three quarters of a length back, with Rekindled Interest, who settled closer than normal, holding his ground to finish fourth.
There were no shortage of promising runs by Cups contenders with Absolutely working home impressive to claim fifth, just in advance of Precedence sixth with Linton (seventh) and Shamrocker (eighth) losing few admirers.
Nolen said the race – which was the champion trainer/jockey combination’s third straight win following wins by Golden Archer and Testascana – couldn’t have worked out better from barrier 11.
“It doesn’t often work out like that, but everything went to script today,” the Scobie Breasley medallist said.
King’s Rose is entered for both the Tatts Cox Plate and the BMW Caulfield Cup, but Moody will wait until after her next start – most likely in the $300,000 Group 2 Dato Tan Chin Nam Stakes (1600m) at Moonee Valley on September 10 – before finalising her spring aim.
“Looking at her videos, I think she’s more a mile to a mile-and-a-quarter filly. I’m not convinced she’s a mile-and-a-halfer, she failed to stay in the Oaks but that was at the end of a long campaign.
“I’ll stay open minded, but at this stage up to a mile-and-a-quarter, I think she’s going to be competitive in anything.”