Punters believe 9yo galloper can record his third Moonee Valley Cup win this Saturday and helped themselves to the opening price $7.00, with the Bart and James Cummings trained galloper now into $5.00. Precedence won in 2010 and again last year when, like he will be Saturday, tackling the race third up from a spell. Current favourite for the race is Opinion ($3.70) who has solid form around him and arguably the most in-form jockey on him in Zac Purton. Opinion’s last two starts at or beyond 2400m have resulted have been at Group 1 level and have seen the 6yo imported galloper run second in the Sydney Cup beyond The Offer, and second again to Junoob in the Metropolitan Handicap. French galloper Au Revoir has been kept very safe for his Australian debut at $5.50 with Le Roi and Epingle, who both come off good runs in the Listed Cranbourne Cup, the only other runners in the race under double figures at $7.00 and $7.50 respectively.
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1. PRECENDENCE – G Boss (4) 57kgs
Wouldn’t be a Moonee Valley Cup without this evergreen galloper entered for it. The nine year has won the race twice from three attempts, including last year’s edition, and looks a solid chance of making it three victories after a good effort second up from a spell saw him run fifth (1.3 lengths) behind The Cleaner in the JRA Cup (2040m). Has a very similar preparation for this year’s race compared to last and can win this.
2. BLACK TYCOON – B Rawiller (8) 57kgs
This year’s Perth Cup wasn’t expected to show much first up over 1400m off a six month spell, and accordingly didn’t, but his two subsequent runs, over the longer journeys of 1700m and the 2025m of the Cranbourne Cup, haven’t seen any improvement at all. He finished thirteenth and over seventeen lengths from Kenjorwood at Caulfield before running second to last in the Cranbourne Cup. Not going well enough.
3. MR. O’CEIRIN – M Zahra (7) 56.5kgs
After running a solid fourth (1.2 lengths) to The Cleaner in the JRA Cup two starts back, his third run in this campaign, the 7yo gelding looked well prepared heading into the Cranbourne Cup a fortnight ago where he carried top-weight of 59.5kgs. He had a lovely run on the leader’s back during the run and was presented with a gift run as they turned along the fence however, under 59.5kgs and on a firmer surface, wasn’t able take advantage of the opportunity and only battled away in running seventh. Drops back down to 56.5kgs here and the softer strathayr surface of the Moonee Valley circuit suits the Ciaron Maher trained runner who produced his best with cut out of the track. It’s been over a year now since his last win – the Grafton Cup of July last year, but finds the right conditions in this race to break that drought.
4. AU REVOIR – D Oliver (6) 56.5gks
French galloper raced by OTI Racing who have enjoyed good success of late with Brambles, Lidari, Count of Limonade etc. The Singspiel stallion has only had the one start since May of this year and that came seven weeks ago when he finished fourth in a field of six in a Group 2 race over 2400m. Two of his three career wins have been at Listed level over 2400m and whilst he has come up short when contested the higher graded races in France, the class of this particular event should see him competitive.
5. LE ROI – T Berry (1) 56kgs
Tony McEvoy’s galloper closed well first up in a race dominated by Kenjorwood, and finished fifth (8.2 lengths) in the Open class race over 1700m. He then started favourite in the Cranbourne Cup and punters would’ve been happy to see the 6yo in the box seat during the run and staking his claim rounding the turn. Copped a bit of bump from the winner Mourinho soon after straightening that cost him a bit of ground and he did appear to be coming again on the line when third (0.8 lengths). Fitter again and will get a nice run from the inside gate.
6. PRINCE OF PENANCE – M Payne (10) 56kgs
Settled and stayed midfield when eighth (ten lengths) behind Kenjorwood – who by four, before lining up in last week’s Moe Cup (2025m). The lightly raced 5yo tracked into the race nicely but was shaded on the line by Count Of Limonade as the pair came away to fight out the finish in the last 100m. Steps up another notch in regards to class here and with the same weight as last start and a wide gate to contend with, would be looking to others.
7. OPINION – Z Purton (9) 55kgs
The former import has only won one of his ten Australian starts for Trainer Chris Waller but has twice been Group 1 placed, one of which was his most recent start, the Metropolitan Handicap. He enjoyed a nice run just off the pace but was held up for a few strides heading into the turn as stable-mate and subsequent winner Junoob, was making his winning move. He closed well to get within a half a length of Junoob on the line with Araldo third. Both Junoob (7th) and Araldo (5th) ran well in last week’s Caulfield Cup, finishing within 2.5 lengths of winner Admire Ratki. Opinion worked well Tuesday morning at the Valley and with solid form around him, a kilo less to carry than in the Metrop, there’s a lot to like about his chances here.
8. ANUDJAWUN – M Rodd (2)
The 9yo gelding chased home Who Shot Thebarman and Marksmanship – good in Wednesday’s Geelong Cup, well when 3.3 lengths third in the G3 Bart Cummings (2520m) last start. It was one of the better efforts of his career and backed up a close up fourth (3/4 length) to Wrotham Heights at his previous start however, it is well documented that Anudjawan has only won two of his forty-five starts and hard to see his third being a Group 3 race.
9. EPINGLE – (3)
Was only warming up when she made her return in the G2 Stock Stakes (1600m), finishing fourth (3.3 lengths) to Dear Demi and Solicit before catching the eye late in the Cranbourne Cup at her following start, flashing home for fourth (1.3 lengths) behind the in-form Mourinho. Won the Hobart Cup third up last campaign, a stage of her preparation she tends to produce her best and her record at or beyond 2400m reads well. Will be running on.
10. ALBONETTI – C Schofield (5) 53kgs
Belied his odds of 60/1 with a big finish in the G3 Naturalism Stakes (2000m) behind Gris Caro and Entirely Platinum when running fourth (1.2 lengths) before lining up in the G2 Herbert Power (2400m) at his following start. Settled well back in the run and made his run leaving the 800m and chased strongly in the straight without being able to reel in the leaders, finishing sixth and three lengths from Big Memory. That was his first go beyond 2100m and he’ll be better for it but won’t find this any easier and will need to show improvement off of his last run to be winning here.
Think Opinion ticks all the boxes here. Will run the trip out solidly, has Group 1 form around over a distance, the spring’s leading jockey aboard – the $3.70 looks a good price all things considered. This is Precedence’s race – set weights, on a track with some give over 2500m – he’ll run well without a doubt. Cautious about the French horse who in the past, has run well in G3/Listed races when getting down in the weights. His first up should be taken with a grain of salt as he would’ve only to been to have him ready for this.
- AU REVOIR