The Spring Carnival in Melbourne heats right up this weekend, starting off on Friday night with at Moonee Valley, where the feature race is the $450,000 Group l City Jeep Moir Stakes (1000m). The weather is fine, the track is good (4) and the rail is in the true position for the entire circuit.
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Race One (6:45pm) : William Hill Plate 1200m:
Back Me: Going with the Team Hawkes trained Mawahibb (Best Odds: $2.60). He was very good when resuming over 1100m at Caulfield when sitting on speed all the way and fighting on for third to Bassett, who is a Caulfield Guineas contender, with second being Keen Array, who runs here also and is the main threat, but there is more upside with Mawahibb.
Big Danger: Keen Array (Best Odds: $2.70) had bolted up on the Synthetic tracks at Geelong and Pakenham respectively before going to that race mentioned above, where she was a heavily backed odds on pop, and she just copped too much pressure from Mawahibb. She did well to hold off that horse. Fourth up now, and that last start was a gut buster, so it’ll be interesting to see how she goes here.
Roughie: Danuki (Best Odds: $12.00)was very good when resuming here in the McKenzie behind Well Sprung before going to the Danehill and he didn’t appear suited down the Flemington straight behind Kinglike. Back to the Valley and draws well, so he can improve.
Race Two (7:15pm) : Sweeney Estate Agents Handicap (90) 1500m:
Back Me: Burning Front (Best Odds: $7.00) sat on speed most of the way last time out at Pakenham and he stuck to his guns quite nicely when third to impressive winner Stavia. His two efforts at Moonee Valley have been solid without winning and he gives the impression that the mile won’t be an issue, especially around the Valley.
Big Danger: Moonovermanhattan (Best Odds: $3.80) looks ready to win now. He had no luck when resuming here behind Fell Swoop before going to Caulfield and sticking to the task quite well when a close third to Good Value in a race which looked much stronger than what he faces here hence why he has been asked to carry 61kg, but the claim for in form apprentice Jake Bayliss is a definite tick and the horse does tend to save his best for the Valley.
Roughie: Harada Bay (Best Odds: $18.00) has been racing quite well in Queensland for Team Meagher, running on well from the back despite the leader walking in front at his past two starts. The stable must think highly of him and how he is going to send him to Melbourne, so watch market moves.
Race Three (7:45pm) : StrathAyr Track Stocks Stakes 1600m:
Back Me: Anyone that backed Ungrateful Ellen (Best Odds: $12.00) first up would still be having nightmares. She was terribly unlucky at Caulfield when appearing to be bolting in the run and she pretty much went to the line under a hold from Williams. She won brilliantly second up last time in before running a cracker behind Delicacy in the SA Oaks. Hard to beat.
Big Danger: Sardaaj (Best Odds: $5.50) was a tragedy beaten when making her Australian debut here, running second to subsequent Bobbie Lewis winner Churchill Dancer after getting badly held up on the turn. She then went to Caulfield and was given a very ordinary ride ride when sixth to Kayjay’s Joy. Dunn is back on now, and provided she gets better luck here, she should be a very serious threat.
Roughie: Getting close to D-Day for Amanpour (Best Odds: $3.80). The Queen Of The Turf winner hasn’t really set the world on fire this time in, but her coat is starting to look a bit better and there was slight improvement when sixth to Peeping. This is the easiest race she has contested for a long time and she is just thrown in at the weights.
Race Four (8:15pm) : Jeep 55 Second Challenge Heat 2 955m:
Back Me: Consorting (Best Odds: $7.50) is a talented yet frustrating sprinter for Mick Kent who resumes here after two runs during the Autumn where he really failed to flatter. Looked solid in a trial last month behind Rich Enuff and he has performed very well in three runs in this series previously. Big threat if there is no on speed bias.
Big Danger: Reldas (Best Odds: $5.00) was a rising star around this time last year and into the Summer, but he fell away late and didn’t really capture his best form. Given a good spell, and his jump outs and trials leading up to his return to racing have been quite good and he does run well when produced fresh, plus he flies at the Valley.
Roughie: Grane (Best Odds: $18.00) resumed at Seymour and was given a beaut steer from apprentice Ben Allen, but the horse just couldn’t quite finish it off when running fourth to impressive Lazyaxl. He has a solid second up record, and the last time he ran at the Valley, he was less than a length of subsequent Stakes winner The Bowler.
Race Five (8:45pm) : Jeep Stutt Stakes 1600m:
Back Me: Normally this race is the best lead up to the Guineas…but dear me this is a disgraceful field, and I am 100% sure the Guineas winner won’t be coming through this race. But, we have to find a winner, and I think it will be Admirabeel (Best Odds: $11.00), who created a serious impression on debut at Cranbourne when winning impressively and stretching out like a really good type. Derby looks his go, but this field isn’t strong and the stable are the best in Melbourne in terms of placing their horses to win.
Big Danger: Former kiwi He’s Our Rokkii (Best Odds: $5.00) made his Australian debut for the Hayes/Dabernig yard at Benalla a couple of weeks back and he justified his short quote with a very soft kill. Time was pretty good and he looked to have a fair bit of upside. Harder here, but it is a thin race depth wise.
Roughie: Ragnaar (Best Odds: $4.80) is another former kiwi that recently made his Australian debut, over 1400m at Bendigo and though the win was narrow, it was impressive and the field did have depth to it despite it being a maiden. Plenty of upside with him and the stable knows when and where to place them.
Race Six (9:15pm) : The Cup Club JRA Cup 2040m:
Back Me: The United States (Best Odds: $2.90) was very unlucky not to get the golden ticket into the Caulfield Cup by winning the Naturalism, getting held up a touch in the straight and not being allowed to build up full momentum. Returns to the track which he excels on, and he is beautifully suited at the weights. Hard to beat for sure.
Big Danger: Prince Of Penzance (Best Odds: $9.00) had to shoulder 62kg when contesting the Gold Nugget at Ballarat and he did as well as expected IMO when fifth to Freshwater Storm after settling near last in the run. Gets much needed weight relief now, he’s third up and he is unbeaten in two runs on the track, so he looks a serious winning chance.
Roughie: Velox (Best Odds: $8.00) is the knockout runner at odds here. There was alot to like about his win at Pakenham last start, aided by a lovely ride from Jye McNeil. I think the Spring has come around too soon for him, but I think he will be a serious horse when it comes to the Autumn. Nonetheless, he draws well here and Bossy is aboard.
Race Seven (9:45pm) : City Jeep Moir Stakes 1000m:
Back Me: I’m really keen on the Queensland bulldog, Buffering (Best Odds: $7.50). He hasn’t raced since finishing a mighty sixth in the Hong Kong International Sprint to star galloper Aerovelocity, beaten just under four lengths. He was found to be injured soon after, and his career looked gone, but a bit of TLC has seen him recover, and from all reports, he is flying. He is near unbeatable when produced fresh, and this is without doubt the easiest Group l he has contested in his career, plus his record at the Valley is fabulous.
Big Danger: Petits Filous (Best Odds: $2.30) is a star filly for Ciaron Maher who faces her acid test here. She’s yet to be properly tested in race day, but all you can do is win, and she has done that in awesome fashion, including last start over 1100m at Flemington. Can she handle Group l pressure, and serious Group l pressure from one of the toughest sprinters in recent times in the shape of Buffering? That question will determine her winning chances.
Roughie: The phrase “Horses for Courses” is a must use when it comes to the Valley, so I think Le Bonsir (Best Odds: $67.00) has to be included. He sprouted wings from the back, aided by a peach from Olly, to get the job done over this track/distance in the Carlyon Stakes. Four time winner at the track and he was only two lengths off Buffering in the 2013 Manikato at this track, so that does tell he can compete at this level at this track.
Race Eight (10:15pm) : Quest Moonee Valley Handicap (90) 1200m:
Back Me: Speed deluxe engaged here. I’ll go with some value in the shape of the Peter Moody trained Weinholt (Best Odds: $10.00), who resumes here after a couple of preps in Sydney, which didn’t quite go to plan. He resumes off the back of a couple of very sharp jump outs, and I wouldn’t worry about the wide gate because the speed will be on, so Melham should get cover given he is drawn outside noted flyer Tawteen.
Big Danger: Kaepernick (Best Odds: $3.70) was pretty poor when resuming in the Bobbie Lewis. He appeared to travel sweetly in the front and loomed to blow them away, but as soon as the button was pressed, he found zilch under pressure. Drops in class now and he is a horse who will be suited by the tempo in front.
Roughie: Kumaon (Best Odds: $11.00) is the very interesting runner. He has been gelded for Godolphin and as we know, the stable doesn’t normally keep geldings. Trials have been good, draws an inside and his lone Valley run came at this corresponding last year where he ran third to Almalad in the Stutt Stakes.
BEST BET: Race Six Number 5 The United States
NEXT BEST: Race Three Number 6 Ungrateful Ellen
VALUE: Race Seven Number 5 Le Bonsir
Quaddie Tips (Races Five Through To Eight):
Leg One: 3, 6, 8, 11
Leg Two: 1, 5, 10, 12
Leg Three: 1, 5, 8, 12, 13
Leg Four: 2, 3, 5, 8, 11, 12
$50 Investment= 10.41% of the dividend if successful.
All odds are subject to change. Odds listed are correct at the time of the latest update.
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