One of the best days in Australian racing is here with Cox Plate day at Moonee Valley. The nine race card is of course highlighted by the $3 million Tatt’s Cox Plate (2040m), although some may argue that the weight-for-age championship of Australasia will take a backward step for the grand mare of world racing, Black Caviar, when she takes on four rivals in the $300,000 Schweppes Stakes (1200m).
Race One: Microflite Inglis Banner 1000m
Back Me: Lamingtons was good down the straight behind a handy type in Cambiaso. Has the experience, hard to beat.
Don’t Back Me: Rise To The Top was good on debut but he has plenty going against him.
Big Danger: So Sure trialled nicely at Bendigo recently and is drawn well to do something on debut here.
Roughie: Go The Cats hasn’t been seen in public but the booking of Corey Brown is a positive lead.
Race Two: Essendon Jeep Stakes 1600m
Back Me: Going for Torah. Had the race won but the hard work just told late. She’ll get back and run on well late in a weak race.
Don’t Back Me: Big drop in grade for Bliss Street, but 59.5kg for a filly so early into the season is a big query.
Big Danger: Classic Elle had a bit of weight and bias against her when running a strong second at Moonee Valley and looks a threat here.
Roughie: Twilighting had the on-pace bias in her favour when beating Classic Elle but she’ll be thereabouts in the finish.
Race Three: 1300 Australia Stakes 1200m
Back Me: Karuta Queen will be winning if she has held her form. Second to Black Caviar last start puts her on top.
Don’t Back Me: Beckon wasn’t overly impressive last start and there is a big wrap on this youngster, but I’m happy to pass.
Big Danger: Miss Stellabelle was very impressive last start at this track and distance and Oliver will give it the gun run from the barrier.
Roughie: Glissade on a firmer track may bounce back to the form she was in earlier on in her career.
Race Four: Mitchelton Wines Vase 2040m
Back Me: Manawanui was the star track worker on Tuesday and a repeat effort here gets him home.
Don’t Back Me: Hard to say because it is a small field and there is an odds on pop that should win, maybe Power Broker.
Big Danger: Collar is looking for 2000m and beyond and the small field should see him sit on the back of Manawanui and run a nice second.
Roughie: Scelto will sit on the speed and may kick on for first four punters.
Race Five: Schweppes Stakes 1200m
Back Me: Do we need to bother? Black Caviar. That is all.
Don’t Back Me: It’d be silly writing something here.
Big Danger: Not a big danger, but Scenic Blast should get the good run and finish second in his comeback race after a stint in the US.
Roughie: Balavan will roll forward and has the best front running rider on top in Nash. Trifecta chance.
Race Six: Drake International Cup 2500m
Back Me: Looks a perfect race for Caulfield Cup placegetter Tullamore. Leads comfortably from the barrier and should just win.
Don’t Back Me: Americain is thrown in at the weights, but I’d rather watch him than back him.
Big Danger: Back to Moonee Valley is a big tick for Linton, who needs to find form heading into the Melbourne Cup.
Roughie: Paddy O’Reilly has drawn the fence and will get the soft run. Might run first three.
Race Seven: Drummond Golf Crystal Mile 1600m
Back Me: Danleigh worked well on Tuesday at Moonee Valley and if he brings his a-game, he’ll go very close to winning.
Don’t Back Me: Testa My Patience has had only one unplaced run in his 13 start career…here at Moonee Valley. Be cautious if you like him.
Big Danger: Luen Yat Forever is dying to win a race and if the pace is on for him, he’ll be threatening big time in the finish.
Roughie: Dao Dao caught the eye in the Toorak and is in the same boat as the one mentioned above.
Race Eight: Tatts W S Cox Plate 2040m
Back Me: Jimmy Choux is a champion. He has handled Moonee Valley well. Forget his work on Tuesday. He has the class and talent to win.
Don’t Back Me: Helmet. Awkward barrier, he’ll do some work from the barrier and although he got away with it last start, he won’t against the big boys and girls.
Big Danger: Secret Admirer looks to have plenty of upside left and if they go crazy in front, look out for her.
Roughie: Not the best draw for Pinker Pinker, but she is in good form and looks good overs in betting.
Race Nine: Trojan Hands Tool Stakes 1600m
Back Me: Little Surfer Girl hasn’t run a place in three attempts at 1600m but her last start win oozed class.
Don’t Back Me: Lady Lynette had every hope last start and she is poorly weighted against some classy mares here.
Big Danger: Avienus has a fab record at Moonee Valley and looks the class factor.
Roughie: Neriani was super in defeat last time out. She stepped up from 1100m to 1600m for that run and with that run under her belt, she’ll be a decent exotic chance.
Written by Adam Page
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