Peter Knuckey is determined to make the most of his opportunity in Melbourne as he prepares to team up again with exciting grey mare Fabergino in the Group 1 Moir Stakes (1000m) at Moonee Valley on Friday.
The 46-year-old has been Fabergino’s regular partner, riding her in six of her nine wins, but was injured when she posted an interstate victory in the Listed Bob Hoysted Stakes (1000m) at Flemington in February.
Ridden by Victorian hoop Jordan Childs, Fabergino showcased her dazzling speed to an interstate audience when down the straight at Flemington she cruised to an outstanding win at her first interstate attempt.
Trained by Tiarnna Roberston, Fabergino has been elevated to Tabtouch favouritism ($4.80) for the $1 million Moir Stakes with pre-post favourite Anders ruled out of the race with an untimely setback.
Knuckey is no stranger to big time racing in Melbourne after guiding Island Morn to victory in the Group 2 Memsie Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield in 1995.
He believes Fabergino, racing first-up since taking out the Northam Stakes (1100m) in May, can’t be any better for her maiden Group race.
“She has a few obstacles to get through and there is a lot of rain coming on Friday which she hasn’t experienced,” Knuckey told Tabradio.
“It’s good the favourite has come out, but Bella Vella has got really, really good form which matches her and a good record at Moonee Valley.
“But Tiarnna can’t do anymore with her, she’s the best that she can get her.
“She is in the best order we can get her in.”
Knuckey said Fabergino had adapted to her new surroundings at Mornington in far better circumstances than her first trip to Melbourne.
“She’s at Jason Warren’s property and it’s an amazing place,” Knuckey said.
“You can see why the horse is doing so well.
“When she was back at Flemington in February she was segregated from the other horses and didn’t really do that well.
“It was her first trip, but it was quite busy at Flemington.
“On the flight over she didn’t drop as much weight as she did the last one.
“We trotted her around this morning and she looked bright and bubbly.
“It’s all looking good for her.”
Knuckey is hoping Fabergino can come up with the right barrier gate.
“They all tell me barrier one is no good at Moonee Valley,” Knuckey said.
“But I would rather barrier one than barrier 10.
“I think one to five will be good, it will be ideal for us.”