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A strong nine event meeting has been assembled for Moonee Valley on Saturday where it is McKenzie Stakes Day. The weather forecast is for showers, the track is soft (7) and the rail is out five metres for the entire circuit.

McKenzie Stakes 🏆: View the Field for the McKenzie Stakes

Carlyon Stakes 🏆: View the Field for the Carlyon Stakes

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Race 1. (12:50) Happy 60th Birthday Pete Hcp 1523m

Back Me

4 Coming Around (Bet Now: $1.90 TOP ODDS) on top. Brent Stanley trained gelding who the trainer talked up as a near good thing prior to Flemington two weeks ago and his faith was rewarded because the former WA galloper gave them a spanking under a confident steer from Liam Riordan. Can only see the extra trip suiting and has upside to come.

Danger

1 Widgee Turf (Bet Now: $4.00 TOP ODDS) has a fab record at the Valley and will get good give in the track. Resumed in the Aurie’s Star at Flemington and considering Home Of The Brave ran around 33 for the last 600m, Widgee Turf would have had to run a tick over 32, which is impossible for him. Up to 1500m, drops in depth/grade, hard to beat.

Long Shot

Couldn’t find a jumpout, but I’m going to include 2 Miami Bound (Bet Now: $11.00 TOP ODDS). Oaks winner from last year that didn’t set the world on fire in two runs during the Autumn and was spelled soon after. No jumpouts from what I can find for this prep, so guessing as to her fitness levels, but she has class and saves her best for tracks with give in it.

Race 2. (13:25) Dr Sheahan Plate (bm84) 1200m

Back Me

Not declaring her or anything, but it does look an ideal race for the James Cummings trained mare 4 Tailleur (Bet Now: $1.50 TOP ODDS). Won over 1200m at Rosehill a fortnight back where McEvoy took up the running aboard the mare and the riders in behind pretty much handed the race to McEvoy on a platter. Won’t get it as easy this time around, but is clearly promising.

Danger

This race has got a long tail to it behind the fav. 8 Sword Of Mercy (Bet Now: $6.00 TOP ODDS) is next best. Ellerton/Zahra trained mare that is racing well, albeit not against mares at the level of the fav. But, she did run third last time out to a pretty smart one in Octane, which reads well. She looks the only real threat on paper.

Long Shot

1 Santa Catarina (Bet Now: $9.50 TOP ODDS) is an interesting runner. Former Kiwi that had her first run in Australia for Michael Moroney at the Valley and it was just about ride of the day from Campbell Rawiller aboard her. Sat back in the field where they crawled mid race, so he took off around them on the mare and went for home on the turn in a daring ride. If she produces that sort of effort here, she’s right in the mix.

Race 3. (14:05) Ladbrokes Switch Hcp 1200m

Back Me

I’m always fraught with danger when backing a horse that comes from the Synthetic to Turf at Saturday level, but the debut win of 11 Jenni’s Rainbow (Bet Now: $3.10 TOP ODDS) was just electric at Pakenham. She went from a few lengths off them 300m out to end up winning by three with something in hand. If she’s going to be a Thousand Guineas contender, needs to win here and confident she can off the debut win.

Danger

A So You Think that can run sub 33 for the final 600m…it’s a good sign that there is a decent engine under the hood and I think that applies with 3 Dirty Thoughts (Bet Now: $9.50 TOP ODDS). Admittedly, they did crawl at Sandown last time out, which meant they had to zip home, but still, sub 33 is very sharp and she backed up a sharp maiden win. Confident she measures up.

Long Shot

7 Clean Machine (Bet Now: $5.50 TOP ODDS) is a Team Corstens trained filly that is showing good talent. Led and caught late two back here before going to the Valley where Johnny Allen opted for cover and it ended up being a nightmare as she got badly held up. Got out late and just missed. Harder here, but does have race fitness under the belt.

Race 4. (14:45) Inglis 2021 Yearling Sale (bm78) 2500m

Back Me

8 Kentucky Tornado (Bet Now: $3.80 TOP ODDS) looks to be flying and confident she can go close to beating these. Two runs back from a break have been very good, the latest at Flemington when really warming to the task late behind stablemate Skyman. Williams jumps on now and up to 2500m with enormous upside, she’s hard to beat.

Danger

9 Flag Edition (Bet Now: $12.00 TOP ODDS) has been up a fair while for Michelle Payne but continues to race pretty well. Far from disgraced at Flemington two weeks ago when back in a slowly run affair and making up ground late behind the in form Exemplar. Much better suited at 78 level more so than open company, so think she’s hard to beat.

Long Shot

7 Blandford Lad (Bet Now: $15.00 TOP ODDS) can add some value to multiples. Impressive win from the back at Sandown two back before going to Flemington where he was last in a slowly run race and couldn’t make up significant ground, but did make up ground to run fifth to Exemplar. Back to 78 grade, a more genuine tempo, he can bounce back.

Race 5. (15:25) Msc Signs (bm78) 1600m

Back Me

4 Irish Flame (Bet Now: $10.00) is the one that interests me at odds, especially on a heavy track. Former Kiwi that made his Australian debut at Flemington two weeks ago and I thought he was more than a pass mark in defeat when closing off to run third to the in form Coming Around. This time last year he won an 82 race in NZ and has been okay at Stakes company, so think he’s clearly an each way bet at the double figures.

Danger

2 Winning Partner (Bet Now: $3.90) is bursting to win a race for the McEvoy camp. Just missed here two back before backing up a week later at Flemington where he just got too far back, but worked home strongly behind dominant winner Tavidance. Claim certainly helps back to 78 grade, hard fit and nearing another win.

Long Shot

8 Santelmo Fuego (Bet Now: $15.00) looks the best chance at longer odds in what is now a pretty weak race after scratchings due to the heavy track. The Symon Wilde trained galloper has performed well on rain affected tracks.

Race 6. (16:05) Mckenzie Stakes 1200m

Back Me

1 Hard Landing (Bet Now: $2.90) rises a bit in class/depth but does have race fitness under the belt. Backed with confidence when resuming at the Valley three weeks ago and the bets were landed. Sat up on speed and just put that little bit of pressure on speedy squib Theresabearinthere, putting him away in the straight and fending off the rest. Is a Stakes winner, so is up to this level.

Danger

This looks a really tough race. I’m interested in 2 Rathlin (Bet Now: $4.50) for the Maher/Eustace team. He’s a good colt who contested the A1 races during the Autumn, finishing midfield in the Blue Diamond before finishing down the track in the Slipper. The wet track is a query, because his trial on wet ground in Sydney was ordinary, but looked better in a Caulfield jumpout on Tuesday.

Long Shot

8 Loca (Bet Now: $13.00) is a Team Hawkes youngster that rises a fair bit in grade/depth but the stable don’t throw them in the deep end for nothing. He showed really good ticker to win on debut on the Ballarat Synthetic, although the time was nothing to jump up and down about. Has the Team Hawkes polish though and is one for multiples.

Race 7. (16:40) Pines Refreshing Ale (bm90) 1200m

Back Me

7 Windstorm (Bet Now: $1.95) is another of these Bob Peters runners that looks very exciting and like Showmanship, is one potentially heading towards an Everest/Golden Eagle path. He brings with him some outstanding times in WA, clocking late splits of a Stakes class horse. Draws wide, which I like given Pike can sit back and choose his own path, and he’s got the finale of a really good horse. Hopefully can confirm that here.

Danger

3 Dexelation (Bet Now: $8.00) is a beauty for Team Jolly. I loved the way he toughed it out to win at this track/distance three weeks ago. He was there to be beaten in the straight as he had threats inside and out, but in a driving finish, he got there to win. He’s going well this guy and despite a rise in grade, he can measure up for sure.

Long Shot

12 Polanco (Bet Now: $23.00) looks to be well over the odds in this race. The Shea Eden trained galloper has shown his best on rain affected tracks and the heavy surface should bring him right into contention if the favourite doesn’t fire. The wide barrier shouldn’t be an issue come the end of the day and he looks to be a very good each way chance.

Race 8. (17:15) Carlyon Stakes 1000m

Back Me

2 Great Again (Bet Now: $3.80) looks the horse to beat after the multiple late scratchings in the race due to the downgrade to a heavy track. He has been knocking on the door in much tougher races than this and will relish the heavy track. He should be able to stalk the likely leader and biggest danger in the way of Jungle Edge and he is a horse with a bit more upside. Looks the horse to beat.

Danger

The forecast for rain is music to the ears of the old boy 1 Jungle Edge (Bet Now: $2.40). Impressive winner of the John Monash when finding heavy ground, but the track was much firmer in the Bletchingly and finished down the track behind Viridine, who won the Regal Roller last Saturday to frank the form. On face value, his Valley record is awful, but keep in mind the majority of those have come on firm ground.

Long Shot

Good test here for 9 Witherspoon (Bet Now: $5.50) but she’s worthy of a crack at Stakes level. Kris Lees has this mare absolutely flying at the moment and her best asset is her early speed, and I suspect she’s got enough early toe to hold out Jungle Edge. The problem will be can she keep finding with the pressure being applied by a toughnut who has conditions to suit.

Race 9. (17:45) Ladbrokes Back Yourself Hcp 2040m

Back Me

The class of 1 Young Rascal (Bet Now: $5.50) will carry him a long way here. Formerly with William Haggas but is now with OTI and Archie Alexander with an eye towards the Cups. If he brings anything near his form from the Autumn, he just wins this. But bigger fish to fry you would assume, so that’s the query, but I’m banking on class.

Danger

6 Polly Grey (Bet Now: $3.50) is bursting to win a race for Chris Waller this time in. She was enormous in defeat at this track/distance three weeks ago, sitting no cover for a fair chunk of the race before having to chase a couple of tearaways. Eventually wore down Tavirun, but couldn’t hold out the hard fit, in form Mahamedeis. Better luck this time around and she can win.

Long Shot

5 Dabiyr (Bet Now: $5.50) is 3/3 second up and looks in for a good prep if his resumption is any guide. Resumed behind Romancer at Flemington where he was wide and doing work, spending petrol tickets a bit earlier than Rodd would have liked, and that took away something from his finale, but was still more than sound. Think he’ll take some beating here.

Best Bets & Quaddie Tips

BEST BET: Race Seven Number 7 Windstorm

NEXT BEST: Race Four Number 8 Kentucky Tornado

LONG SHOT: Race Five Number 4 Irish Flame

 

Quaddie Tips (Races Six Through To Nine):

Leg One: 1, 2, 4, 8

Leg Two: 7

Leg Three: 1, 2, 3, 9

Leg Four: 1, 5, 6, 7, 9

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