Punters have a relatively easy time of it when it came to the Moonee Valley Vase in the past few years. Last year Savvy Nature coasted in as a short priced favourite as did Manawanui two years earlier when a dominate $1.22. However this year’s edition is an open affair with Chivalry ($5.50), Atmosphere ($5.00) and Go Indy Go ($6.00), vying for outright favouritism. A further four runs are listed at $10.00 or less making this race the perfect curtain-raiser for the W. S. Cox Plate that follows. The Vase provided three subsequent Derby winners (Plastered, Helenus, Efficient) in the space five years however, the most recent of them was Efficient (2006).
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1. ZULULAND – R Moore (12)
Claimed the G2 Sire’s Produce and ran second in the G1 Champagne Stakes as a 2yo but his five runs back as a 3yo this season, having matched the potential his early efforts suggested he may have. Just held his ground in the G1 Caulfield Guineas (1600m) last start, finishing ninth (7.7 lengths) from Shooting To Win. A win would surprise on current form.
2. CHIVALRY – G Boss (1)
Drew wide and got a long way back in the Caulfield Guineas (1600m) and his effort to finish fifth (3.4 lengths) was a good one. Drops in grade here but has drawn the inside gate and that won’t be an advantage for the Street Cry colt who’ll need plenty of luck from a long way out to get a run that will allow him to wind up. The two wins he has registered in his career have been when storming home off strong paces over sprint distances. Would be happy to risk him here at the $5.50
3. PRENTICE – D Dunn (2)
Western Australian galloper who has only won two of his twelve starts to date, the most recent coming two starts back when getting the bob in on the line in a mile race at Belmont that consisted of only five other competitors. Lining up here appears more than a little ambitious.
4. MOONOVERMANHATTAN – C Newitt (14)
Worked home well along the fence to claim third (1.8 lengths) in the Bill Stutt Stakes (1600m) two starts back before settling on the leader’s back in the G1 Caulfield Guineas, a position he struggled to maintain in the run home, crossing the line in seventh (3.9 lengths). Just didn’t have the acceleration to match the top-line 3yo’s last start and the extra trip here looks as though it will suit but unfortunately he won’t be afforded the good runs of his past two starts from a poor draw.
5. BONDEIGER – J Winks (13)
The Danny O’Brien galloper has narrowly done the right thing by punters at his last two starts, winning a Geelong Maiden and then a BM 78 at Caulfield as the short priced favourite. Settled midfield in the running line last start and was flushed out by one going forward at the 600m. He then kept his main danger in a pocket before digging in late to score the win. Had plenty to do last start and will still be improving – this only his fifth start.
6. DUCCIO – D Oliver (11)
At his seventh race start, broke his maiden status with a narrow in at a Canterbury Maiden (1550m) where he beat Preferment – who ran a good second in the Geelong Classic on Wednesday – before stepping up in grade – the Listed Dulcify Stakes (1900m). He led and dictated the pace, only being grabbed on the line by stable-mate and subsequent Group 1 winner Hampton Court. Will go forward from eleven and whilst he’ll be kept more honest in front than last start, he’ll be fitter again.
7. ROYAL STANDING – D Lane (5)
Broke his maiden status three starts back with an emphatic victory on a heavy track at Seymour before failing to make an impression from the back of the field in the Listed Vintage Stakes, running second to last and nine lengths behind Stratum Star. Dropped back in grade and produced an improved effort, running second to Bondeiger in the BM 78 (1600m). Toughed it out well from an on-pace position last start but that’s twice he’s been caught late over a mile and he’ll have even more well-credentialed horse to hold out here.
8. GOULDIAN – J McDonald (3)
Finally registered his maiden win with a narrow victory over a mile at Warwick Farm just over two weeks ago. Unlike his five previous starts, the Godolphin runner was ridden on the speed and fought back well after being headed in the straight. Should get a nice run here from gate three and doubt he extra trip holds too many fears but at this stage of his career, would prefer to see him in something easier.
9. CORAM – C Symons (7)
Recorded his maiden win at this start of this campaign and of his four subsequent starts, the better performances have come in Benchmark races, rather than the two Listed races – the McKenzie Stakes and Vintage Stakes, where he finished last and sixth respectively. The Vintage Stakes was his most recent run but taking on this race sees an increase of 600m and journey and doubt he’s going well enough to handle the challenge.
10. ATMOSPHERE – N Rawiller (4)
Although defeated as a short price favourite at each of his first two starts – both Sale Maidens race over 1400m, Trainer Trent Busuttin pushed on with the Savabeel gelding and entered him in the UCI Stakes (1800m) and would’ve been glad after his galloper ran a slashing second to Magicool. Pushed Magicool to within a neck on the line and he’ll only be better again for having had the start over a journey now under his belt. Still learning the caper, this only his fourth start and in a big field on a tight track, he’ll need to be good but does appear to have a lot of natural ability.
11. SAN PADRE – T Berry (6)
Mick Kent’s Teofilo colt debuted over 1717m at Sale last month and got the chocolates before throwing him straight into the UCI Stakes (1800m). Drew well there and found a nice spot just off the pace but was unable to improve his position and batted home, running fifth (6.1 lengths) behind Magicool and Atmosphere. Needed to see him hit the line in better fashion than he did last start to warrant selection here.
12. IT’S THYME – J Mott (8)
Made his debut for Chris Hyland late August with a fourth placing (1.8 lengths) in a maiden on the Geelong Synthetic before a six week break and winning a Benalla maiden as the 6/4 favourite after getting every chance in the run. Jumps considerable in both grade and distance and would’ve thought there’s a bunch of more suitable races for him than this one.
13. GO INDY GO – C Schofield (9)
Put the awful first up effort in the G2 Danehill Stakes quickly behind her with a solid finishing third (1 length) in the G2 Thousand Guineas Prelude behind Afleet Esprit and was good again in the 1000 Guineas when running seventh (3.3 lengths). Got a long way back last start and then came wide in a race that was dominated by those closer to the speed and fence. A truly run 2000m should suit her well if she get negate a clear path the Valley track from back in the field.
14. MISS INTERIORS – M Zahra (10)
Kicked off this prep by winning a Kembla Grange Maiden but in three subsequent runs, the latest of which was in the G2 Edward Manifold Stakes, the Anthony Cummings trained galloper has been well accounted for. Only held her ground in the Edward Manifold, running ninth of thirteen (6.8 lengths) and hard to see her winning this race on that effort and her overall record.
A tricky race to asses, as indicated by the open market, with most reaching 2000m for the first time and a couple of promising gallopers taking on the better grade of race. Duccio’s form reference to Hampton Court is good for here and although he had an easy time of hit and the depth of that particular race wasn’t strong, think he can improve again. His trainer Gai Waterhouse can get them to make the step up to journey successfully more times than not and he’ll take up a forward position which will also be advantage. Atmosphere’s run last start, only his third start, was excellent and he’ll be better again for it whilst Go Indy Go’s last run was better than it reads for mine.
- GO INDY GO