High-class four-year-old I Wish I Win showed that his versatility extends to sprinting when producing the day's eye-catcher at Flemington when dashing home for second in the Group 1 Lightning Stakes (1000m) won by Coolangatta.
It was the ideal warm-up for the Group 1 Newmarket Handicap (1200m) back at Flemington on March 11 and vindicated trainer Peter Moody's decision to follow a sprinting program with the son of Savabeel.
“Good horses help us not make mugs of ourselves and he is a damn good horse,” Moody told Racing.com.
“It is a tough 1000m down the Flemington straight so I always equate it to a good solid 1200m race.
“The race I have geared him towards is the Newmarket so that is in three weeks' time and you would think there is a lot of positivity going towards that because a Flemington 1200m is the equivalent of seven (furlongs) on a circle or flat track. That is why I wanted to give him his chop at that and make the most of it.
“I think importantly with this horse is he has a magical turn of foot on top of the ground and as we know as we get deeper into the autumn and a lot of the spring racing is with the sting out of the ground, so we are trying to make hay while the sun shines and showcase his ability.”
I Wish I Win came from last under Luke Nolen to record a stunning 31.64 for his last 600 metres and is now a +400 second favourite for the Newmarket behind In Secret (+250).
Moody shares in the ownership of I Wish I Win with breeders Waikato Stud, and the gelding has been a revelation since crossing the Tasman, with victories including the $10 million Golden Eagle (1500m).
A Group One performer in New Zealand, I Wish I Win will clash with former stablemate Imperatriz, with the Mark Walker trained four-time Group One winner a +600 prospect in the time-honoured handicap.