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Some very nice three year olds, most notably Brutal, will step out at the Valley this Saturday in the feature race, the McKenzie Stakes (1200m). The weather is fine, the track is good (4) and the rail is out four metres for the entire circuit.


Race 1. (12:25) Ladbrokes Back Yourself Handicap (90) 1200m

Back Me

4 Merriest (Bet Now: $4.60) looks a gamble for mine. Quality mare for Danny O’Brien who resumed four weeks back over 1200m against the mares where she was wide no cover on speed throughout, put the pressure on and looked home but was bloused late by a couple of late swoopers. Has class on her side and I like her second up on a track she has run well at.


We got the good overs about 3 Eusebio (Bet Now: $7.50) a few weeks back over 1200m at Rosehill when getting the job done, but I will he was aided by a strong tempo when it eventually came down to the last man standing, and given he’s a 1400m+ horse, he was always going to win that battle. Third up now, he should be hard fit and ready to go.

Long Shot

8 Drachenfels (Bet Now: $8.00) looks to be racing well but he’s getting close to running out of excuses. Poor beginning cost him dearly first up behind Albumin before getting held up a few weeks ago and finishing off well when clear behind stablemate Eusebio. Good overall and a tick over trial last Monday was pretty good to the eye behind some nice types.

Race 2. (12:55) Handicap (78) 1600m

Back Me

Looks a lovely race for 13 The Passage (Bet Now: $3.20). Been bursting to win a race for the Snowden camp and it finally came last Wednesday at Sandown when ridden a treat by Zahra and once he got clear air, he surged and proved too good for Ocean’s Fourteen. Draws to get a suck run just behind the speed and now that he has won, he can go on with it.


6 Strike Force (Bet Now: $6.50) will likely set the speed. Michael Moroney trains this gelding, who attempted to lead all the way over 1700m last time at Flemington and gave a decent enough but just found the class of horse a bit much when fourth to Sikindarabad. Has run well here before and is nicely weighted after the claim for Lachie King.

Long Shot

4 The Avenger (Bet Now: $10.00) looks to be racing okay for Chris Waller but is just struggling a touch to greet the judge. Comes through the Mantastic race from Caulfield four weeks ago where he was on speed and tried hard but just tired late to run sixth. From the gate, I’d love to see him ridden with cover and be allowed to find the line.

Race 3. (13:35) M S C Signs Plate 1200m

Back Me

5 Multaja (Bet Now: $1.65) looks a real up and comer for James Cummings but I think there has to be reservation. Took care of an average lot on debut at Werribee before racing over 1000m here three weeks ago where she got the perfect drag up into the race and once Dunn popped her into clear air, it was game over. Looks a beauty. Want to see her work for it.


2 Kinky Boom (Bet Now: $15.00) could be the blouser. Market said she’d need the run when resuming at Sandown and it was right as she just ran out of puff late when third to Thine Is The Power, who franked the form last Saturday in Adelaide. She’ll get back from the wide gate and launch late if they overdo it in front.

Long Shot

8 Metronome (Bet Now: $14.00) is a daughter of Helmet resuming for the Mick Kent. Two of her three career outings during the Autumn came here, running second on debut behind Sanctimonious before getting the win. Then ran down the Flemington straight and looked to be a tired horse behind Khulaasa. Jumped out well recently and gets the good draw.

Race 4. (14:10) Woodside Park Stud Handicap (78) 2500m

Back Me

I’m happy to give 1 Kellstorm (Bet Now: $14.00) another chance. Was all over him when he ran last Saturday at Morphettville but IMO, Froggy rode a pretty poor race on the horse and didn’t give it much hope of winning, sitting three/four wide from 1000m out and with 60.5kg, no chance of winning. Like he is on the quick turnaround, so he must have pleased the stable after the run.


6 Thunder Cloud (Bet Now: $10.00) has been up a long time for Darren Weir but continues to race in good form. Tried hard to win at this track/distance three weeks ago but the tempo set by Pioneertown was a crawl and he didn’t have the dash in his legs to overhaul them. With a more genuine tempo, he can bounce back here.

Long Shot

12 Zilbiyr (Bet Now: $15.00) is the sort of horse who could easily win this but at the moment he’s just finding one or two better on the day. Just failed to get the win two back at Cranbourne before racing over 2100m at Sandown where he got back and worked home okay late behind Kentucky Diva. Has run well here before and will be strong late.

Race 5. (14:45) Dr Sheahan Plate (84) 1200m

Back Me

Tricky race for the mares but I’ll side with the Matt Laurie trained 3 Moonlover (Bet Now: $14.00). She ran over 1200m at Caulfield four weeks ago where she settled off the pace and chased hard all the way but was bloused by a couple of swoopers in Chiavari and Mariquita. Has a really good record here and hopefully the speed will be on.


2 Princess Of Queens (Bet Now: $9.00) comes through the Chiavari race at Caulfield on July 28 where she was well backed and after getting the lead, she looked the one to beat but just couldn’t finish it off behind the Nick Harnett mare in a pretty plain finale. She’s better than that, so have to give her another chance.

Long Shot

12 Shokora (Bet Now: $9.00) is a Hayes/Dabernig trained mare who is first up here after a pretty solid Autumn prep, which saw her contest several stakes races against her own age/sex and for the most part, she was far from disgraced behind quality types such as Rimraam and Think Bleue. Loved her recent jump out and should get run of the race stuff from gate one.

Race 6. (15:25) 1PRINT Handicap 2040m

Back Me

Is it a case of how far 5 Trap For Fools (Bet Now: $5.50)? On his form, you’d say yes, but given the setback three weeks ago, hard to know for sure. He’s not a horse who will win by panels, but I think he has this lot covered. Ran over 2000m at Flemington last time where he tried hard but was no match for the brilliance of stablemate Sixties Groove. No horse of that class here and looked to work well between races on Sunday at Ballarat.


2 Pacodali (Bet Now: $4.20) is a definite improver. He was five weeks between runs when racing at this track/distance three weeks ago and tried hard to win but just lacked the hard race fitness when third to Morton’s Fork. Should improve big time off that and if he does, he will look the winner at some stage I’m sure.

Long Shot

12 Al Haram (Bet Now: $31.00) could be a knockout at odds. He resumed over 1700m at Flemington a fortnight back where he was wide throughout on a pretty decent speed and tried hard but just weakened late to finish midfield behind stablemate Sikindarabad. Placed in his lone start here and does have a stack of upside.

Race 7. (16:05) McKenzie Stakes 1200m

Back Me

This is a cracking race. Easy to get carried away with trials, but gee 4 Ocean Knight (Bet Now: $5.50) has looked outstanding in his two jump outs leading up to his resumption. Had two runs in the Autumn, winning sensationally on debut at Caulfield before running sixth in the Anzac Day Stakes. The two jump outs have really caught the eye and when clicked up, there has been an instant response.


How good is 5 Brutal (Bet Now: $1.75)? Off what we’ve seen so far, yep, he’s very good. Is he a star though? Comfortably say no and this will be a good test. Debuted at Caulfield in July and absolutely smashed the clock in bolting up. Freshened up and his recent jump out was very good. Hard to beat, but couldn’t back.

Long Shot

6 Leonardo Da Hinchi (Bet Now: $8.50) looks a lovely prospect for the Darren Weir team who is 2/2 to start the career. Debuted with a lovely win at Echuca before racing at the Sandown midweeks where he really surged the line late and had to like the way he attacked the post to grab the win. Draws well and has race fitness on his side.

Race 8. (16:45) Carlyon Stakes 1000m

Back Me

3 Quilista (Bet Now: $6.50) is a ripping mare that resumes for the Darren Weir team. This girl hasn’t raced since the Autumn, where she won a couple of races in Sydney before not having much luck in the Robert Sangster behind Shoals. She is a bomb fresh. Would love to see if she’s trialled and how she went but that aside, happy to be with her.


1 Hey Doc (Bet Now: $3.70) is the clear class of the field and that will take him a long way towards victory. He hasn’t raced since the Lightning where he didn’t pull up 100% post race behind Redkirk Warrior. Been given a decent break with the Spring in mind, his jump outs have been outstanding and worked sensationally earlier in the week, plus is 3/3 at the Valley.

Long Shot

11 Super Too (Bet Now: $5.00) should be leading this field up and for the most part will look the winner but the last 100m will be the test for her. She’d be the Everest winner if the race was 800m. Her trials leading in have been outstanding, the latest seeing her win by ten without being touched. Has run well here before.

Race 9. (17:20) Harrolds Handicap 1519m

Back Me

You’ll get a fair few questions answered here when it comes to 7 Odeon (Bet Now: $7.00). He’s potentially on a Cox Plate path, starting via this race and then onto the Dato. Would need to run very well here to warrant a start, but his resumption behind Theanswermyfriend was a beauty I thought, warming to the task very nicely off a slow tempo. Seemed to work well here earlier in the week and I’m hoping by race nine, the pattern will be to build momentum and ambush.


4 Moss ‘N’ Dale (Bet Now: $8.50) has been in work a little while but gee he’s racing well for the Gelagotis boys. He comes through Theanswermyfriend race at Flemington where he chased the speed and tried hard but given it was his first run in over a month, he just felt the pinch late. Has placed here before and should strip fitter.

Long Shot

14 Malaise (Bet Now: $11.00) is a James Cummings trained galloper who is racing really well this prep but just needs to put another win on the board now. Did a big too much in the run last time out over the mile here but didn’t stop chasing hard when third to the well backed and in form Call Me Handsome. I think back 100m in trip is no disadvantage.

Best Bets & Quaddie Tips

BEST BET: Race Two Number 13 The Passage

NEXT BEST: Race One Number 4 Merriest

LONG SHOT: Race Four Number 1 Kellstorm


Quaddie Tips (Races Six Through To Nine):

Leg One: 2, 5, 10, 12, 13

Leg Two: 1, 4, 5, 6, 12

Leg Three: 1, 3, 8, 11

Leg Four: 4, 7, 9, 14

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