Military Zone Stakes his claim as Mo gets the corks popping

MILITARY ZONE unleashed a lethal turn of foot at Randwick on Saturday to nail the leader on the line in the 3YO BenchMark 70 Handicap over 1200m on Saturday, earning a possible tilt at Stakes level. While at Kembla Grange, stayer More Moet scored his fourth career win, when taking out the BenchMark 64 Handicap over 2400m in a thrilling finish.

Military Zone was electric on the day, and scored his second win from three starts, stepping up to metro grade after a smart win at Newcastle three weeks ago.

Drawn the widest of nine, Kerrin McEvoy took the son of Epaulette to the rear of the field and, after waiting patiently for the split in the straight, he urged his mount into the clear before Military Zone stormed home, making up the best part of 8 lengths on the long-time leader Danawi, to deny the Tim Martin trained galloper by a nose, with the pair drawing a length clear of the field.

A $140,000 purchase from Three Bridges Farm at the Inglis Premier Sale, two-year-old winner Military Zone showed further signs of improvement, with co-trainer Peter Snowden suggesting a step up to Stakes level for the

“That was a great, a really impressive win,” said Snowden. “It didn’t go to plan early. He was slow out and had to get back, but he relaxed super well and when the split came 300m he was like dynamite and really quickened nicely. He attacked the line like a smart horse.

“Off the strength of that performance we’ll look to step him up in grade again, and there’s the Group 3 Ming Dynasty in three weeks time which we could target him at.”

The double on the day was completed shortly after, when More Moet stayed on strongest when stepping up to 2400m at Kembla Grange. Dropping back in grade, More Moet travelled superbly into the race and kicked early in the straight, holding off the attentions of race favourite Everly Girl in the closing stages to win by a quarter of a length, much to the elation of his merry band of owners.

“That was really good to see from More Moet today,” said Snowden. “Congratulations to all the owners but I was delighted to see him tough it out and see the Moet of old today!”

Photos: Bradley Photographers