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Beau Rada kicks off his latest campaign at Moonee Valley on Saturday

The last time Beau Rada raced at Moonee Valley, he went within 0.02sec of winning his trainer John McArdle a new car.

Moonee Valley hosts a 955m race at each of its night meetings and the horse posting the fastest time last season won their trainer a car.

Beau Rada won two heats, clocking 54.97s in December before running 54.92s in the final race in March, an open handicap.

But that time fell agonisingly short of the Darren Weir-trained Tuscan Sling’s season best 54.90s.

Beau Rada kicks off his latest campaign at Moonee Valley on Saturday in a 1000m race, the Montmorency FC Handicap, while another crack at the final race of this season’s 55 Second Challenge in March is on the radar.

“I’d prefer it to be 955 on Saturday because he is a 955 specialist,” McArdle said.

“He doesn’t run a step past 1000 metres but he does have a good Valley record so we’re happy to be heading there.”

There are no upcoming options for him in the 955m night racing series until later in the season.

This season’s 55 Second Challenge is sponsored by sales company Inglis and the trainer of the horse with the quickest time now wins a $50,000 cheque to spend at an Inglis auction in 2017.

“The idea is to try to win the final again like he did last year,” McArdle said.

Saturday will be Beau Rada’s first since being unplaced in a Listed race in Brisbane in June.

“We were going to run him during the spring carnival in a couple of the races at Moonee Valley but he just had a couple of issues with his feet,” McArdle said.

“I decided we were better off to pull the pin so we did that and his feet seem to be fine.

“He seems to be in pretty good nick.”

McArdle says barrier two is not ideal for Beau Rada who generally gets back.

“Hopefully they run hard and if they do he’ll be hitting the line hard,” he said.

“He’s actually got a better second-up record than he does first-up.

“The horse is very well in himself and I think he’ll run well, but whatever he does he will improve second-up.”

Beau Rada is at $13 with Stellar Collision the $3.60 favourite.

 
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