Racing returns to Moonee Valley this Saturday with another strong nine race card. The weather is overcast, the track is soft (5) and the rail is out five metres for the entire circuit.
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Race One (12:15pm) : Friends Of Epworth Handicap (90) 1600m: Form Guide
Back Me: Putting Coronation Shallan (Best Odds: $5.00) on top. She tried very hard over this track/distance last time out, but was simply no match for Noela’s Choice, beaten just under three lengths. She now gets the barrier draw advantage and gets a 3kg weight pull on the mare. I think she can turn the tables.
Big Danger: Noela’s Choice (Best Odds: $3.00) was given an absolute peach ride from Regan Bayliss, cutting back to the inside and showing an electric turn of foot to spank her rivals and win with a fair bit of ease. As stated above, the facts and figures do suggest she’ll find it hard to beat Coronation Shallan again, but on face value, the win was just awfully good.
Roughie: Every Faith (Best Odds: $3.90) resumed in the Noela’s Choice race and just got too far back from the wide gate yet she still worked home pretty well late without threatening to win. She also meets the winner much better at the weights, she has a stack of upside, Dunn sticks and bolted home over this track/distance second up last time in.
Race Two (12:50pm) : Silver Thomas Hanley 1200m: Form Guide
Back Me: Sticking with Godolphin and their gelding, Demonstrate (Best Odds: $3.70). I was really taken by his efforts at the jump outs and trials before resuming at Seymour, where he simply got too far back from the gate. In saying that, he did work home very strongly to run Parmalove to a neck. There is so much upside with him, and the stable are having a good little run at the moment in Victoria.
Big Danger: The interesting runner is Mawahibb (Best Odds: $3.00) for Team Hawkes, who comes here after resuming last week at Canterbury where he was quite good I thought. He ambled up to win the race at the top of the straight and looked the winner, and was grabbed late by Brigadoon Rise. Looks to have so much upside and the stable has a great record when going interstate.
Roughie: Trinity River (Best Odds: $7.50) resumed at this track/distance a fortnight back and stuck to the task quite well when fifth to impressive winner Safariann, beaten 1.7L. Her form from the Autumn has held up and is very strong, and with the run under the belt, especially at the track, she should take some beating.
Race Three (1:25pm) : Kane Constructions Handicap 1200m: Form Guide
Back Me: Putting Testability (Best Odds: $5.50) on top. The on speed bias beat her first up at Geelong (Metro) before going to Caulfield and sticking on fairly when fourth to Fast Approaching, the same filly that beat her at Geelong. That last run was five weeks ago, so not sure where she is at fitness wise, but ability wise, she’s probably got these covered. Hard to beat.
Big Danger: Faction (Best Odds: $8.50) strung together a couple of solid runs at Flemington, then raced there again and sprouted wings down the outside fence to nail the previously unbeaten Lirabird, winning in the last couple of strides. All of her runs have been on big, spacious tracks, so it’s unknown as to how she’ll handle the beast that is Moonee Valley, but she’s a last start city winner, so she has to be respected.
Roughie: Our Harmony (Best Odds: $8.50) has won her last two starts in impressive fashion, both coming at Mornington, both Metro class meetings. The first one saw her come from near last to nail Rough Justice, then she sat closer and again finished off strong to get the job done. She has to carry topweight, but she is low flying and is a definite chance.
Race Four (2:05pm) : Device Technologies Handicap 1200m: Form Guide
Back Me: Going towards Raposo (Best Odds: $2.70). This Patrick Payne trained gelding has been excellent in two runs back from a break, starting off at Mornington when fourth to Our Harmony before coming here and despite a peach steer from Jess Payne, he couldn’t quite get past Duke Of Brunswick. He does appear to have a fair bit of upside and looks the one to beat.
Big Danger: Boomwaa (Best Odds: $4.00) attempted to lead all the way over this track/distance a fortnight back and looked home, but just felt the pinch late and was grabbed near home to run third, beaten just under a length. Drops back to his own age now, draws to lead, and gets in beautifully at the weights after the claim for Jake Bayliss.
Roughie: Valderrama (Best Odds: $9.50) debuted on the Geelong Synthetic and looked pretty smart in putting them away and winning quite impressively. Time was pretty good, and the last 600m split was impressive. Decent step up in grade, but has gate one and looks to have enormous upside. Chance for sure in a race like this.
Race Five (2:45pm) : Pantry Packer Handicap (90) 1000m: Form Guide
Back Me: Pilly’s Wish (Best Odds: $4.60) resumed over this track/distance a fortnight back and despite coming from the back and out wide, she was superb in getting the job done. Gets much needed weight relief, draws better, Dunn rides and should prove very hard to beat, provided she doesn’t get strung up behind runners from the gate.
Big Danger: Wild Rain (Best Odds: $4.80) attempted to lead all the way over this track/distance a couple of weeks back and just tired late when fifth to Duke Of Brunswick, beaten just over three lengths. Takes on the older horses now, which is the query, but hopefully she can slot in with some cover and be allowed to find the line rather than set the tempo.
Roughie: Flash Of Doubt (Best Odds: $21.00) was wide no cover for the entire trip yet she strode up to the front on the turn and fight on courageously to win narrowly, but impressively given the work she did in the run. Again draws awkwardly, but she has proven that she can still do work and get the job done, and McNeil sticks, so she has to rate as a chance.
Race Six (3:25pm) : Vital Healthcare Property Trust Travis Harrisson Cup 1600m: Form Guide
Back Me: Alcohol (Best Odds: $4.40) returns for a Melbourne raid after two runs back home in Adelaide, starting off with an excellent second before a closing third to handy galloper Underestimation, beaten just under two lengths. He has a great record when travelling to Melbourne, especially Moonee Valley, and he strikes a very winnable race.
Big Danger: Metaphorical (Best Odds: $3.00) struck a very nice race over this track/distance a few weeks back, and aided by an absolute peach from Nolen, the mare finished off strongly to eventually wear down tearaway leader Lord Durante, who ran okay the other day at Bendigo. Nolen sticks and she should prove hard to beat.
Roughie: Travolta (Best Odds: $26.00) resumes here for Gai after a solid Spring, which ended with a disappointing 12th on Cup Day at Stakes level, but by then he had enough and was looking for the paddock. Recent jump outs have been solid, he runs well fresh and rider Brandon Stockdale is riding in very good form at the moment.
Race Seven (4:05pm) : Brookfield Multiplex Handicap (78) 2040m: Form Guide
Back Me: Looks a lovely race to return to winning form for Word Of Mouth. (Best Odds: $3.65) The Corstens team sent the galloper down to Randwick to find a wet track. They got it, but they also got bad luck and he really should have won, but never really got a decent crack to let down. If he gets better luck here, he should take some beating.
Big Danger: Gold Medals (Best Odds: $11.00) ran second in the Apsley Cup (1850m) and looked the winner with about 200m to go, but he couldn’t hold out the finishing burst of Amaverde, who hugged the inside and dashed up along the inside. He is another horse that loves racing here, and looks really suited up to the 2000m.
Roughie: Goldoni (Best Odds: $15.00) bolted up to win last Wednesday at Flemington, and he looked home with about 250m to go but he couldn’t quite go on with it and just felt the pinch late when third to Alrouz, beaten just over a length. Yet to race at the Valley, but he is in good form and he does strike a winnable race.
Race Eight (4:40pm) : Health Science Planning Consultants Handicap 2040m: Form Guide
Back Me: Clearly putting Digitalism (Best Odds: $3.00) on top. He worked home strongly two back behind Metaphorical over the mile, then backed up seven days later over 2040m here as well and was very impressive, smashing a quality field and was strong through the line. Doesn’t rise that much in weight, and this field is much inferior to the one he beat last time out, so he’s the horse to beat for sure.
Big Danger: Commanding Time (Best Odds: $10.00) has had the three runs back from a spell, and he has been pretty good, including behind Longeron when running fifth. He ran last Saturday at Flemington and stuck to the task okay when sixth to Clairvaux, beaten just under four lengths. Up in trip suits, likes racing at the Valley and is a definite chance at odds.
Roughie: Amaverde (Best Odds: $15.00) wasn’t suited by the slow tempo two back at Flemington behind Longeron, beaten eighth lengths in running ninth. He then trialled over the jumps and that sharpened him up when he stepped out next, sprinting home hard on the rail to win the Apsley Cup at Edenhope. Fair rise in grade here, but he gets weight relief and up to 2000m should suit.
Race Nine (5:15pm) : Sporting Globe Best Bar & Grill Handicap 1200m: Form Guide
Back Me: Going to go with some value here in the shape of Henwood (Best Odds: $8.50). The stable tried him out to be a contender for the Winter Championship, but he just isn’t finishing off his races at the end of 1400m, so back to 1200m suits, and the last he was here was on Cox Plate Day when he should have bolted in but had no luck.
Big Danger: Nearest To Pin (Best Odds: $8.50) copped pressure in front last time out over this track/distance yet stuck on pretty well I thought when fourth, beaten just over a length. Drawn awkwardly here, but senior rider on now, and this horse did win a heat of this series last year with the same weight.
Roughie: Desert Jeuney (Best Odds: $19.00) resumes here for Nigel Blackiston after a strong yet frustrating Spring, with the highlight being a close up third in the Toorak Handicap (1600m). Recent jump outs have been pretty sharp, he runs well fresh, and the last he ran here was also on Cox Plate Day when running third to Hooked in the Crystal Mile. Great chance.
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BEST BET: Race Six Number 3 Alcohol
NEXT BEST: Race Seven Number 4 Word Of Mouth
VALUE: Race Nine Number 6 Henwood
Quaddie Tips (Races Six Through To Nine):
Leg One: 1, 2, 3
Leg Two: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5
Leg Three: 2, 3, 6, 7, 8
Leg Four: 1, 5, 6, 7, 8, 14
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All odds are subject to change. Odds listed are correct at the time of the latest update.
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