Trust In A Gust will be shooting for his fourth straight win and his first under Weight For Age condition when he’ll line up as the ruling favourite for Crystal Mile at Moonee Valley this Saturday. He is the $2.50 favourite with Speediness, who has finished in the top four eight of his twelve starts since claiming the G3 Bobbie Lewis last year which includes a narrow second in this race last year, on the second line of betting at $4.50, in form an opening price of $4.80. Promising galloper Akavoroun and Hooked are $8.50 each and the only other runners in the race under double figures. Like last year’s winner of this race Toydini, Hooked is also coming off a third placing in the G1 Epsom Handicap and appears to have drawn perfectly in gate one.
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1. SPEEDINESS – N Rawiller (4)
For the third time since his last win, the 2013 Bobbie Lewis, Speediness ran a place at Group 1 level when second (3/4 of a length) to Trust In A Gust in the Toorak Handicap (1600m). He ran a great fourth in last year’s Toorak as well before being beaten a lip in this race by Toydini. Deserves to win another good race and from the ideal draw, this could be it.
2. HAVANA REY – L Meech (6)
A fantastic effort by both horse and trainers (Morgan/Widdison) when first up off over a year’s break he ran a half-length second to Another Prelate in an Open class race over 1500m. The Group 2 winner has been given a month off since that run which will have only have helped to blow out the cobwebs but he meets a much stronger field here and only has half a kilo less than last start, so will have to made good improvement.
3. AKAVOROUN – M Payne (5)
Light raced 5yo who raced through his grades by winning six of his first seven starts, including the Listed Winter Championship – where he defeated The Cleaner, and who appears to have taken the step up to better races again judging by his recent efforts this spring. He finished sixth first up in the Bobbie Lewis, his first look at the Flemington straight, before sticking on well in his first Group 1, running seventh (3.8 lengths) behind Trust In A Gust. His only start since was a courageous fourth (1.1 lengths) in the Toorak when posted deep throughout from a poor draw. This, a WFA race, is a new challenge again but he has met most put before him in the past.
4. DESERT JEUNEY – J Winks (3)
Closed well in a Moonee Valley Open (1500m) class race from the back of the field to run third (2.8 lengths) behind Another Prelate and Havana Rey. Whist it was a solid effort, it didn’t have Group 1 performance written over it and therefore, when the 5yo gelding lined up in the Toorak at his following start, he started 60/1. He drew gate one and was ridden a treat by Winks with the pair surprising most by claiming third, only one length behind Trust In A Gust. Had his chance last start and he won’t find this race, his first attempt at WFA, any easier given he rises 6kgs on the Toorak run.
5. TRUST IN A GUST – B Rawiller (7)
There’s no stopping the Darren Weir trained galloper at the minute. His two most recent starts have seen him bag the G1 Rupert Clark and G1 Toorak Handicap, taking his overall strike rate to an impressive ten wins from seventeen starts. Despite drawing wide in both the G1’s, the son of Keep The Faith has taken up a forward position and found plenty when challenged late. This is also his first go at a WFA race but can be in now better order to take on the challenge, loves the valley, and will again be hard to run down.
6. HOOKED – C Williams (1)
He scored a much deserved win in the G3 Cameron Handicap at Newcastle two starts back after dominating the tempo of the race from the lead position before producing an outstanding effort in the G1 Epsom Handicap. He draw gate 14 in the Epsom and was wide with no cover during the run before he was allowed to slide forward leaving the 600m, joining the leader four wide as they made the turn. He’s Your Man and Royal Descent were the only horses to pass him. Rises 6.5kgs on that run here but will give plenty of cheek from the inside draw and although it’s his first run in Melbourne, fancy the Valley circuit will be to his liking.
7. BULL POINT – R Moore (2)
Racing well for new Trainer Chris Waller this preparation after his good finish in the Rupert Clarke Stakes, where he closed from midfield to run third (1.9 lengths) behind Trust In A Gust, he was given a good chance to do better again at his following start, the G1 Toorak Handicap. Although drawing better than he did in the Rupert Clarke Stakes, he settled a long way back and pinched runs along the fence, finishing 1.6 lengths behind Trust In A Gust. Last two efforts give him a place chance here.
8. ATLANTE – D Dunn (8)
Returned to racing off a four month spell with a determined win over Trust In A Gust, but unlike that horse’s subsequent runs, the Hawkes Racing representative has disappointed in both the Rupert Clark and Toorak Handicaps. He ran eighth (5.3 lengths) in the Rupert Clark and although he was caught wide in the Toorak, he was gone a long way out from home and finished last, almost fourteen lengths from the winner. Better horse than his last two suggest but will have to wait until he turns the form around.
9. LIBERTY’S CHOICE – D Oliver (9)
Bounced back after a terrible effort first up with a second placing (1.5 lengths) to Rock Sturdy in the G2 Shannon Stakes (1500m) before contesting the G1 Epsom Handicap (1600m) where, with only 52kgs to carry, the son of Redoute’s Choice finished a respectable seventh (3.2 lengths) behind He’s Your Man. Still only the win one from eighteen starts and whilst the last two efforts have handy in top grade, can’t see him recording his second career win in this race.
Only a small field but fancy the speed should be ok with the likes of Hooked, Liberty’s Choice, Trust In A Gust and Havana Rey all going forward. Think that plays into the hand of Speediness who should be able to be placed to advantage from the jump. He’s the only horse with experience – and results, at his level is perfectly poised for long overdue win. Hooked is a big danger for mine. Competed with the best three year olds going around last season and has come back in great order. His Epsom run was a beauty and he’ll put himself right in the mix.
- TRUST IN A GUST