Group racing returns to Moonee Valley this Saturday, with the $200,000 Group ll Australia Stakes (1200m) highlighting a strong nine race card. The weather is overcast, the track is soft (5) and the rail is out three metres for the entire circuit.
Race One (13:00) : Think Big Stud Handicap (84) 2040m:
Back Me: Hard to tip against 2 Yulong Baby (Best Odds: $2.70) for Mick Price. This mare is just low flying at the moment, winning two on the bounce, with her latest win being huge. Had no right to win given they went slow in front, but she picked up and really attacked the line to win impressively. Looks well placed once again.
Big Danger: 6 Monogram (Best Odds: $4.00) took on the boys over 2100m at Ladbrokes Park last time and was just far too good for her rivals, winning comfortably by two lengths. She takes on just the females now, has run well at the track and is just so well placed at the weights.
Roughie: 4 Ring Da Belle (Best Odds: $9.00) ran over this track/distance three weeks back and worked home nicely against the pattern when fourth to Leica Day. Start prior she ran second to Yulong Baby, and meets that mare 3kg better off for a length defeat, so she is right in this.
Race Two (13:37) : Hille’s Home Extensions Handicap 1200m:
Back Me: Keen on the Team Hawkes trained 1 Snoopy (Best Odds: $3.10). This colt hasn’t raced since finishing down the track behind Press Statement in the Caulfield Guineas (1600m). Resumes in a much weaker race here, and his jump outs at Flemington have been very sharp in preparation for his Autumn prep.
Big Danger: 2 Danuki (Best Odds: $3.70) is a talented type that resumes for Clinton McDonald. This colt hasn’t raced since running fourth to Keen Array over this track/distance, with that horse going on to win the Blue Sapphire and then place in the Coolmore. Jump outs have been very sharp and he has Stakes form at the track. Hard to beat.
Roughie: 8 Tri Harda (Best Odds: $21.00) was unwanted in betting when debuting at Kyneton, but she showed a nice turn of foot when clear and won quite impressively, running smart in comparison to other 1100m races run on the same program. Much harder here, but there was a bit to like about that win, and there looks to be a fair bit of upside.
Race Three (14:12) : Cube Finance Handicap (90) 1200m:
Back Me: 3 Celeritas (Best Odds: $5.00) was heavily backed last time out at Caulfield, but she was tardy to begin with and that sealed her fate, but her last 150m was excellent behind Pink Perfection, who ran well last Saturday at Flemington. She tends to save her best for Moonee Valley, and up to 1200m should see her prove hard to beat.
Big Danger: 4 Our Harmony (Best Odds: $4.20) is a talented mare that resumed down the straight at Flemington against the boys when running third to Rough Justice in a pretty solid race, much stronger than this. Drops back to the mares now and only rises a kilo. Very serious threat.
Roughie: 7 Herstory (Best Odds: $13.00) resumed on her home track at Caulfield a fortnight back and took on the boys when finishing down the track behind Duke Of Brunswick. Her jump out leading in was very sharp, so I’ll forgive her for that, especially now she drops back to mares company.
Race Four (14:47) : WT Partnership Handicap 2040m:
Back Me: 1 Flying Light (Best Odds: $3.10) has been up for a long time, but continues to race very well. He ran over 1800m at Caulfield a fortnight back and looked home, but was gunned down by in form mare Yulong Baby, who looks a great chance in the mares race at this meeting. 2040m will be no issue and his lone run at the track resulted in a luckless third to Kracken.
Big Danger: 3 Alamonteel (Best Odds: $12.00) was an alarming drifter in betting last time out over the Benalla mile, but the daughter of Alamosa was given a lovely ride by Mick Dee to win impressively. Gives the impression she’ll eat up the extra trip and there appears to be a bit of upside with her.
Roughie: 9 Spirited Character (Best Odds: $26.00) ran over this distance at Werribee a tick over five weeks back and despite doing a bit wrong, he was far too good for his rivals. He probably needs to improve a couple of lengths to threaten these, but he is in the right stable and will lap up a strong 2040m.
Race Five (15:26) : 1PRINT VOBIS Gold Star 1514m:
Back Me: 4 Del Prado (Best Odds: $2.30) was a super first up winner at Ladbrokes Park before going to Flemington where he closed off strongly to run second to Underestimation, beaten just under a length after getting held up at times in the straight. Went to the jump outs last Friday and looked very good there, so he has come on for mine since that Flemington run, and he’ll take some beating here.
Big Danger: 1 Burning Front (Best Odds: $1.90) is an absolute ripper for Darren Weir who has been up for a long time but continues to race so well at a decent level. He ran over 1400m at Flemington last time out and stuck to the task quite well behind Underestimation. He meets Del Prado 1.5kg better at the weights, so he can definitely turn the tables.
Roughie: 7 Khutulun (Best Odds: $10.00) was perhaps ridden a touch too close to the tempo last time out at Warrnambool and that told late when she tired to run fourth to Artie’s Shore, who has run well since. She’s run well at the Valley before and Melham rides her better than anyone.
Race Six (16:06) : Campolina Handicap (78) 2040m:
Back Me: Going for some value in the shape of 13 Rebel Rising (Best Odds: $10.00). He was very good here two back behind Leica Day before going to Cranbourne where he had no hope given it was a slowly run race behind Got You Double. With a more genuine tempo here, and some weight relief, along with returning to one of his favourite tracks, he can sharply improve at odds.
Big Danger: 9 Tucanchoo (Best Odds: $7.00) is a Team Hawkes trained son of Pentire, so the 2040m should be ideal, but interestingly enough, this is his first crack at 2000m. He ran over the mile here three weeks back and was just fair I thought behind Siegestor, but it was a race dominated by those sitting in the first four. Should be cherry ripe fitness wise and has upside.
Roughie: 3 Now And Zen (Best Odds: $15.00) resumed at Ladbrokes Park last Wednesday over the mile and despite starting the rank outsider at $81, he ran a cheeky race behind Prix D’or. His best form last time in was over the jumps, but he did perform well on the flat well, and the first up run was quite encouraging, plus he has an excellent record at the track.
Race Seven (16:46) : Jeep Australia Stakes 1200m:
Back Me: I am really keen on the Team Hawkes trained 12 Rageese (Best Odds: $7.50). This son of Street Cry was very good during the Spring, and was one of the best runs of the beaten brigade in the Caulfield Guineas (1600m) behind Press Statement. Recent Flemington jump outs have been outstanding, and the stable doesn’t throw them in the deep end for nothing.
Big Danger: 1 Rebel Dane (Best Odds: $2.90) is the class animal of the field. He was great during the Spring, with the highlight coming last start in the Manikato at this track/distance when third to Chautauqua. Loved his Randwick trial, and despite the prep being interrupted due to wet weather, he is too classy of a horse to have that deter him.
Roughie: 2 Mourinho (Best Odds: $8.50) is here to defend his title. He is a Moonee Valley specialist who was stuck wide no cover in the Cox Plate (2040m) and rightfully dropped out to run near last behind Winx. No trials leading in, but I am sure the Gelagotis boys will have given him a private jump out or two leading up to his return to racing.
Race Eight (17:26) : Browns Sawdust And Shavings Handicap (84) 1000m:
Back Me: I’ll take a chance with 3 Danger Close (Best Odds: $21.00). He was unlucky two back at Flemington before racing there again last Saturday where he was pretty plain I thought behind Bullpit, but the race was dominated by those sitting near the pace. He ran well here four back behind Trevinder, and with a likely hot tempo here, he should get his chance to ambush them late.
Big Danger: 2 Beau Rada (Best Odds: $7.00) ran a solid seventh in that Flemington race Danger Close was unlucky in behind Rough Justice, working home to finish just under two lengths from the winner. He has a great record at the track and is a short course specialist. Hard to beat.
Roughie: 6 Pathways (Best Odds: $9.00) resumed over this track/distance on January 2 and closed off nicely late when running fifth to Runsati, beaten just over three lengths. Senior rider goes on now and she should do no work from the good draw.
Race Nine (18:05) : William Hill Handicap (84) 1600m:
Back Me: I’ve been quite taken by the efforts of 10 Rationality (Best Odds: $2.60) since joining the Phillip Stokes stable after formerly being with Team Hawkes. She led all the way over the mile last time out at Morphettville and just toyed with them, winning by a space and doing it comfortably. Harder here, but she looks ready to tackle Melbourne and stable knows when to bring them over.
Big Danger: 9 Tuff Host (Best Odds: $10.00) was a surprise winner first up at Mornington, then proved that was no fluke with a closing third to Fast Approaching at Caulfield a fortnight back. Brett Scott runners always run well at the Valley, so I’ll respect that, he is in form, has upside.
Roughie: 6 Leveraction (Best Odds: $21.00) is getting on in years, but continues to race quite well, as we saw on New Years Eve on his home track at Echuca where he led all the way and spanked his rivals. Harder here, but he doesn’t mind racing at the Valley, senior rider takes over and he’ll give them something to chase.
BEST BET: Race Seven Number 12 Rageese
NEXT BEST: Race One Number 2 Yulong Baby
VALUE: Race Six Number 13 Rebel Rising
Quaddie Tips (Races Six Through To Nine):
Leg One: 3, 4, 5, 9, 13
Leg Two: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 12, 13
Leg Three: 2, 3, 5, 6, 7
Leg Four: 4, 5, 6, 9, 10
$50 Investment= 5.71% of the dividend if successful.
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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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