I Wish I Win’s Fitness Test

Peter Moody knows he needs to have stable star I Wish I Win rock-hard fit and ready to go ahead of a likely first-up defence of the Group 1 T.J. Smith Stakes (1200m) in Sydney.

The five-year-old came from last to win last year’s edition on testing heavy ground and Moody says his superstar galloper will be ready should similar conditions arise again this year.

“That early April period around Easter in Sydney can quite often present a bit of wet ground, which he handles, but I’m mindful that I want to have him pretty forward because I don’t want him going there – let’s hope it’s not the case for racing’s sake, but if you end up on a Heavy 10, you don’t want to drag the guts out of him,” Moody said.

I Wish I Win’s fitness took another step on Tuesday morning with an 800-metre jumpout at Pakenham. Will Price was in the saddle with Luke Nolen sidelined by injury and he gave the gelding a quiet time, running on to finish third in a heat which featured talented stablemates She Dances and Pounding.

“Thought it was very pleasing, he carried a featherweight in Will Price, be like carrying a postage stamp compared to Luke Nolen I’d imagine,” Moody said with a laugh.

“He just settled out the back and ran home nicely. It’s always nice to trial in a heat where there’s a competitiveness about it instead of just dawdling along, without being asked he lengthened and stretched to the line and rounded off.

“More pleasing was the way he pulled up, the report from Will was very positive.

“He’s really come up nicely, he’s very clean in the wind, very clean in his action, just seems to be enjoying life.”

Moody had previously touted a first-up run in the G1 William Reid Stakes at Moonee Valley at the end of March, but with I Wish I Win set to jump out again, the champion trainer says the turnaround is too tight.

“I’m still not sure, I’ve probably got a leaning to thinking it will be the T.J. in Sydney time-wise,” he said.

“If we trial him again in a few weeks, that gives him a bit of time to get over that, I’m not ruling out – but all but ruling out probably the William Reid.”

I Wish I Win will be raced sparingly post the T.J. Smith Stakes, with The Everest in October the camp’s main focus for 2024.

“Maybe a race like the Doomben 10,000 … he might go to Brisbane and have a spin up there then have a little freshen in the slightly warmer weather,” Moody said.

“The logical race would be to give him a spin three weeks before The Everest in a nice 1200-metre (race) somewhere … if it’s not there, we might even look at the same program again (Memsie, Everest) … as unusual as the prep looked, we weren’t too far wrong, but we’ll worry about that when we see the programming.”

As for Nolen, who was on hand to watch I Wish I Win’s jumpout, Moody said the star rider of Black Caviar fame will be given every chance to return from injury and take the ride first-up.

“I’m not sure when Luke’s going to get back, he looks as big as me at the moment so he’s probably as much chance of riding him in a race as me – he’s got two or three weeks to get things rolling, nothing decided there but Luke’s the incumbent, it’s his ride to lose,” he said.

“It’ll come down to his form, his fitness, his wellness and condition I suppose. He’s been a wonderful servant for the stable and he’ll have first call on it.”

– racing.com


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