If you want to be a contender for the big races in Spring, you have to perform well in the Dato Tan Chin Nam Stakes (1600m) at Moonee Valley. Some outstanding editions of this race have been run and won, but the one that stands out was Northerly, the fighting tiger, and his courageous win over Sunline in 2001. Whobegotyou has won it the last two years. Can he do it it again? Most punters agree as he is a warm favourite. But there are nine other runners that will look to make sure this doesn’t happen. Here is my runner by runner preview.
1 – Whobegotyou
Most consistent horse in Australia. Six starts at Moonee Valley for five wins and a third. His two defeats at the track have come courtesy of a horse called So You Think. Did the job well enough, albeit he looked a bit lucky, when winning the P.B. Lawrence at Caulfield over Lights Of Heaven, who ran a shocker on Saturday so the form does look questionable. In saying that, Whobe is the proven WFA performer and the form does say he’ll be winning this. Price is the only worry. Maybe take exotics.
2 – Unusual Suspect
Group one winner from the United Stakes making his Australian debut for Mick Kent. He is eight years old, he has won nine of his 56 starts and placed on 14 other occasions. It is impossible to line up the form. No idea how he will go, but his form does suggest he’ll better over further. Maybe not here.
3 – Linton
Lovely horse for Lloyd Williams. Ran some cracking race in the Autumn and his return behind Whobegotyou was good. He settled back, was off the bit a fair way out, but he got to the line well enough. Toyed with his rivals in a barrier trial on Monday at Cranbourne. Handles Moonee Valley well, drawn well in barrier one is a definite exotic player.
4 – Alcopop
Gee it’s great see this horse back in form. He caught the eye first up in a leader dominated race behind Uxorious before settling back on a leader bias track and flashing home against the bias to record a superb victory in the Penny Edition. I think he is back to his best form and is going to be very competitive in the big races. He can fill the first four here.
5 – Red Colossus
Surprised me a bit with his slashing third behind King’s Rose and Heart Of Dreams in the Memsie. Obviously he has come back in great style. But to continue on this WFA path, he’ll need to repeat that effort here. Drawn out wide but he should roll forward and find a spot. Probably can’t win, but he is another that can be in the placings.
6 – Magical Pearl
First time in eight starts that he won at 1600m last start when taking out the Balaklava Cup. Apart from the eye catching run of Base, the race was very weak. I don’t think so.
7 – Spacecraft
Had a nice run and battled on well first up for David Hayes behind Alcopop. He runs much better second up and loves Moonee Valley. He has the class to match it with Whobegotyou, but he just lacks that hunger to win against the good horses. He’ll get the run of the race. Again, first four hope.
8 – Cabeza
Handy horse on his day but he looks better suited at Flemington and in a much easier race than this. No.
9 – Rekindled Interest
Two great runs from this horse after a 280 day spell. Showed he has lost none of his ability with a second in the Aurie’s Star behind Temple Of Boom before being forced to sit closer to the speed in the Memsie and battling on well for fourth. He’ll have to do the same here, but he’ll challenge Whobegotyou if he gets any sort of pace on up front.
10 – Domesky
Nice return when weaving his way through and hitting the line well for fifth at Betfair Park. He’ll be better at 2000m and beyond, so you’d expect he’ll need this run as well. Having said that, he is drawn well and his recent barrier trial was solid enough. A sneaky exotic chance.
Whobegotyou clearly on top for me. His record speaks for itself, he’s the class factor, the x factor and should just win here with normal luck in running. Linton for second. Should be asleep on the fence and look for him to the line well. Rekindled Interest for third. Only concern is the pace. I suspect he’ll have sit near the speed again and that won’t suit him, but he is talented enough to be in the finish and Alcopop goes in for fourth. Going great guns this time in and Dom Tourneur retains the ride, which is vital for his supporters.
View the Dato Tan Chin Nam Stakes Odds
Written by Adam Page