The curtain-raiser to the G1 William Reid Stakes is for the fillies and mares, the G2 Sunline Stakes. Trainer Peter Moody has enjoyed a good run of success in recent weeks, having saddled up eleven winners in the past fortnight including four feature race wins, and looks set to keep the ball rolling with Floria in this Friday night’s G2 Sunline Stakes. Floria is the early favourite at $3.30 in advance of You’re So Good at $4.60 and Text’n Hurley, the only other runner under double figures at $6.50. Moody ran second in this race last year with his good mare Lights Of Heaven, who then went on to win the G3 Neville Sellwood Stakes (2000m) at her next start, and looks set to go one better this year with Floria.
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1. HI BELLE – G Boss (9)
It has been over two years now since this 7yo mare last won a race, the G3 Mannerism Stakes of 2012. She returned to racing off a spell in the G3 Bellmaine Stakes and from a wide gate, was never on the track when finishing second to last behind A Time For Julia. A better run in transit made for a better result at her following start when third to Bonaria in the G3 Mannerism Stakes before, at her most recent outing, looking a little flat when produced at the top of the straight in the Schweppes Trophy and only battled home to run sixth. She ran fifth in this race last year after running third in last year’s Schweppes Trophy.
2. FLORIA – L Nolen (1)
Smart mare that has only missed a place twice in her past eight starts, all of which have been in Group or Listed company. The daughter of Savabeel returned to racing from a fifteen week spell as the 2/1 favourite in the G3 Tressady Stakes (1400m) at Flemington three weeks ago. She settled on the speed and beat all bar Five All home, who enjoyed a nice run in behind the pace. She’ll strip fitter again, has drawn well in gate one and her spring form is strong for here.
3. BIPPO NO BUNGUS – D Oliver (7)
Western Australian mare that was very good when she made her Victorian debut in the G3 Bellmaine Stakes (1200m) early last month. It was her first run for five weeks and she was warming up nicely over the shorter trip, finishing third to the in-form It’s Time For Julia. More was expected from her than the seven of ten she produced at her next start in the G3 Mannerism Stakes (1400m) but was better again at her most recent start, the G3 Schweppes Trophy (1600m). She tracked Bonaria throughout the run, three back in the running line and whilst trying hard, could match her with her over the final stages and ran third. Only once in her career has she raced on anything worse than a Good track, it’ll be interesting to see how she handles the Valley surface, but she has been competitive in the right lead up races.
4. YOU’RE SO GOOD – D Lane (2)
Promised a lot early in her career but, despite contesting the top races for fillies and mares during the spring, didn’t live up to the expectations placed on. She was given a good spell by trainer Nigel Blackiston and resumed in the Open class race at Flemington over 1000m. She finished well down the centre of the track from back in the field to run second to favourite Angel’s Beach before backing it up with another solid performance, this time in Adelaide’s Listed Matrice Stakes. Again she settled back from the wide gate, finished well but not well enough to claim favourite and good galloper Raziz. Step up to the mile should help now she’s third up and she did run second in the Australian Guineas last year before taking at the Listed Alexandra Stakes over this track/trip.
5. GOLDSLICK – M Rodd (3)
Fantastic effort first up of a spell where the Bradbury’s Luck mare was caught three wide throughout in a Flemington 1400m Open class race. Despite a torrid run, she finished fourth to Foundry and Our Hand Of Faith. She then lined up as a leading chance in the G3 Tressady Stakes and settled four back in the running line before peeling out as the field rounded the turn. Even though the race was run to suit those closer to the speed, she was still disappointed in the run home and finished second to last in the field of nine, 3.6 lengths behind Five All. She ran third in this race last year as a 30/1 after finishing unplaced in the G3 Mannerism Stakes and her overall record entitles her to another chance.
6. KEEP DE ROSE – C Schofield (12)
Handy mare who held her ground when resuming in the G3 Mannerism Stakes (1400m) late last month, running sixth (3 ¾ lengths) before taking up a forward position in the Schweppes Trophy (1600m) and weakening noticeably in the run home, finishing second to last and over six lengths from the winner. She did run third to Queenstown here over 2000m last prep before running a close third in the G2 Energy Stakes at Flemington on Stakes Day. Last start was not good and has draw poorly here the second to widest gate, but given her spring efforts, it be worth giving her another go third up at a good price.
7. TEXT’N’HURLEY – C Williams (13)
The Hard Spun mare was something beaten three starts back when she had to overcome traffic in the run before flashing home to run a nose second to Five All in a BM 90 (1600m) at Flemington. She then survived a protest before being declared the winning of a 2000m BM 90 at Moonee Valley. That was her first run at the track and she shifted out rounding the turn. Her most recent start came in the Schweppes Trophy were she was caught a little flat-footed as the pace picked up heading for home. It took her a while to wind up but when she did, was finishing as well as anything and claimed second, one length behind Bonaria. Her racing style does require a little bit of luck and even more so here drawing the outside gate but she is in very good form and capable of winning.
8. ARE THERE ANY – V Duric (11)
The 4yo mare won two of three races heading into her most recent start, the G3 Schweppes Stakes (1600m) a fortnight ago. She settled on the leader’s back in the run but was kept their by favourite Bonaria who was travelling sweetly on her outside. She had to wait, cross heels and bump her way clear late to run fourth (1 ¾ lengths) behind Bonaria. Will need to find a spot early from the wide gate to be able to produce her best but if Duric can settle her handy, she would rate a definite place chance.
9. ANGELIC LASS – C Newitt (4)
The 5yo mare has had three runs back from a spell with the pick of them being her second outing where she finished fourth (2.2 lengths) to Bonaria in the G3 Mannerism Stakes as a 66/1 chance. Her most recent start saw her, as she usually does, rolling along out in front in the G3 Schweppes Stakes (1600m) at Flemington but she offered little in the run and weakened to run last in the filed of eight. Not going well enough at present to be winning here.
10. CORONATION SHALLAN – D Stackhouse (8)
Lightly raced Strategic mare trained by Brett Scott at Mornington, she recorded her third win from five starts with a victory over 1200m here back in November in Open class. Spelled after that run, she returned in a BM 90 again at Moonee Valley, as the 11/4 favourite by running second (3 ¾ lengths) to Metaphor before stepping up in grade to the Listed Super Saturday Stakes (1400m) and claimed third (3.9 lengths) to Sistine Demon and Koonoomoo. She chased a smart pair home last start and has plenty of ability. Steps up in weight and takes on a mile for the first time but hard not to give her some consideration.
11. SINHALA – (6)
Recorded her fourth win at start number twenty-two when leading all the way here at Moonee Valley in a BM 78 (1400m) and almost repeated the performance at her following start but falling a head short in the same grade over a mile. Will no doubt roll forward again but had to see her holding off the late challengers GODSPIEL At her third run back this preparation, in the G3 Schweppes Stakes (1600m), she finished well from the back of the field to run fourth (1.9 lengths) to Bonaria. Good work last start in a race that suited those up on the speed and worth following that up with another attempt in a stakes race. She’s only won the three from seventeen though and at this level, would prefer her in something a little further again.
12. JACINTA – (7)
Had won three of four heading into the Listed National Sprint (1400m) at Canberra just over a week ago and did well from her wide barrier to finish sixth (3.7 lengths) behind Messene and Reparations. This will be her first go at a mile but comes from an astute yard and her last start was good enough for her to be given place consideration here.
13. PRECIOUS GEM – L Currie (5)
Continued her good form this preparation by recording her fourth win from her last five starts, with a head victory in a BM 78 (1600m) here three weeks ago over Zazaparella and Grand Zee. This is a step up again however for the daughter of Enconsul and one that she may find beyond here particularly at the set weights.
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Angelic Lass should lead out here and with the likelihood of Are There Any and Keep De Rose coming across from wide out, the pace should be genuine. Trailing behind the leading pack will be Floria who should get her chance every chance to add to her record here. Bippo No Bungus was ok last start in a race not really run to suit. She’ll enjoy the pace and provided she can navigate the Valley circuit her first look at, represents a good each-way chance at $9.00. You’re So Good looks to be back to her early form and the step up to 1600m is a positive. She’ll need a bit of room from the inside gate but is going well. Out of the same race as Bippo No Bungus, is Text’n Hurley. She’s in very good form and her recent start and win over 2040m here, will see her finishing hard late.
2. BIPPO NO BUNGUS
3. YOU’RE SO GOOD
4. TEXT’N HURLEY