SARAH Appleton is “optimistic” Western Australia’s form stayer Moment To Jive can extend her remarkable winning streak to nine on Saturday night when she contests the opening heat of the Group 1 Sky Racing Galaxy at Cannington.
Moment To Jive, an April ’15 daughter of Mogambo and Sharon Monelli, owned and trained by Sarah Appleton and her husband Richard Jones, completed her preparation for the $100,000 to-the-winner Galaxy with a gusty victory over Quick Jagger in the first of two Galaxy Preludes held last Saturday.
Chris Halse’s Quick Jagger, winner of the Group 1 Sale Cup last December, started $1.40 favourite from box one in the $8000 to-the-winner Prelude, with $2.60 second elect Moment To Jive the only other runner under $20.
Moment To Jive led Quick Jagger and while Quick Jagger momentarily headed her turning for home, she outstayed the Cannington 520m record holder, drawing clear to score by two lengths in 42.16, her 20th win from 58 starts and eighth in succession.
“Eight in a row and hopefully nine coming up this weekend! That’s the plan,” Sarah Appleton laughed.
Moment To Jive has enjoyed a rags to riches rise to staying stardom since Appleton purchased her off successful breeder Mike Quinsee.
After winning only two of her first 18 starts, including a 380m success at Cannington, Moment To Jive emerged from obscurity when running second in the Group 2 WA Oaks last May and she’s gone from strength to strength since stepping up to middle and staying distances.
She campaigned successfully in Victoria in late 2017, running second in a heat of the Group 1 Bold Trease and then sixth to champion Fanta Bale in the final, and she finished a close fourth to Fanta Bale in a Sale Cup heat.
But upon returning to Western Australia, Moment To Jive struggled to find her best, being beaten at her next six starts, before a 520m Cannington success on February 19 kick-started an unbeaten streak that has seen her emerge as the leading hometown Galaxy contender.
“We acquired her off David Hobby and Mike Quinsee,” Appleton explained.
“They deemed her not fast enough and we bought about half her litter, including Moment To Rumba.
“Every time she raced she gave the impression she could handle more distance so we kept moving her up. She ran second in the Oaks and after that we stepped her up to 588m at Northam and then 600m and 715m at Cannington.
“When she came back from Victoria she took a little while to settle back in and get back into her routine.
“But she got her confidence back and now she’s stronger, both physically and in her mind as well. She’s peaking at the right time and we’re hoping she can keep it going for two more weeks.”
Moment To Jive has drawn box four in the first of three Galaxy heats, where her opposition includes recent Group 1 Association Cup finalist Zipping Katelyn, however she’s fortuitously avoided Robert Britton’s boom litter brothers Rippin’ Sam and Tornado Tears.
“We’re happy with the vacant box on her outside,” Appleton said.
“She’ll need to be sitting first or second, but we’re definitely optimistic.
“Moment To Jive has made a Group 1 and run second in a Group 2, but we haven’t won a Group race yet. It would be so exciting to make the Galaxy Final.
“I’ve been training for just under four years, so I’m not a professional by any means. I’ve got a lot to learn and we’ve been blessed to have the dogs we’ve had. My husband, Richard, and I help each other, and my eleven-year-old daughter Taya gives us a hand as well.”
The second Galaxy Prelude was won by Steve Withers’ 715m debutant Fled, a May ’15 son of Collision and Cawbourne Bugsy, in 42.49.