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Moody's proven record with fillies in Queensland Derby

Wed 29 May 2024

By Glenn Davis

Co-trainer Peter Moody has a proven track record with fillies in the Queensland Derby and is hopeful Autumn Angel can measure up in the Group 1 feature at Eagle Farm on Saturday.

Moody, who co-trains with Katherine Coleman, is confident Autumn Angel has progressed since her eye-catching second to the Chris Waller-trained Tannhauser in the Group 3 Rough Habit Plate over 2000 metres at Doomben on May 18.

Moody won the Queensland Derby when training in his own right with filly Riva San, who famously backed up a week after claiming the Group 1 Queensland Oaks in 2008.

Tough gelding Brambles gave him his second Queensland Derby trophy in 2012.

The last filly to win the Queensland Derby was Dariana who was successful for legendary trainer, the late Bart Cummings in 2010.

Moody has decided to tackle the Queensland Derby with Autumn Angel, who drew the rails, defying the traditional path for fillies to run in next week’s Group 1 Queensland Oaks over 2200 metres at Eagle Farm.

He also has Shamus Award gelding Saban, who drew barrier 16 in the Queensland Derby.

“It’s very doubtful Autumn Angel will go around next week in the Oaks,” Moody said.

“I just thought the Derby over 2400 metres was a better option than 2200 metres in the Oaks.”

Moody has trained more than 60 Group 1 winners and can’t fault Autumn Angel since her Rough Habit Plate warm-up.

“Her second in the Rough Habit Plate was a perfect trial for the Derby and she’s trained on since the run,” Moody said.

Coleman is a newcomer to the Group 1 honour board after landing her first major as a trainer when Chain Of Lightning claimed the T J Smith Stakes in Sydney during the autumn.

She only had to wait a week before notching up her second win at the highest level when Autumn Angel won the Group 1 Australian Oaks at Randwick in April.

Autumn Angel has been a revelation for Moody and Coleman, winning four of her 10 starts, with her only unplaced run in the Group 2 Armanasco at Caulfield in February.

Since then, the daughter of The Autumn Sun won the Group 2 Kewney Stakes at Flemington in March before a close second in the Group 3 Adrian Knox Stakes at Randwick.

She then announced herself as Australia’s premier staying filly with a decisive win in the Australian Oaks at Randwick in the middle of April before heading to Queensland.

Moody could be set for a big day at Eagle Farm as Autumn Angel is a $2.40 favourite for the Queensland Derby while stable mate I Wish I Win is a $3.30 favourite to win the Group 1 Kingsford Smith Cup.