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Night racing returns to Moonee Valley on Friday for Australia Day, where the feature race is the Group ll Australia Stakes (1200m). The weather is overcast, the track is good (4) and the rail is in the true position for the entire circuit.


Race 1. (18:30) Turf Legends Board Game Plate 1000m

Back Me

5 Phoneme (Bet Now: $3.80) is a Choisir colt having his first start for Chris Waller. Bred to come to hand early and that certainly appears the case based on recent jump outs. He has looked quite impressive in the way he has gone about his business. If he drew a better gate, I’d have him higher up in the order. Still has to be respected.


6 Yulong Declare (Bet Now: $7.00) looks a really nice first starter for the Snowden camp. This son of Declaration Of War has shown good zip in a couple of recent jump outs and appears to be well educated for his debut. First start at the Valley under lights isn’t easy, but who am I to doubt the place of Team Snowden.

Long Shot

4 Fandral (Bet Now: $4.80) is a son of I Am Invincible on debut for the Gelagotis boys. Unseen at the trials and nothing to go on in that regard, which isn’t ideal, but it’s rare to see the stable produced a two year old, and the early market flucs suggest there is someone close in the stable who thinks he can run well in town.

Race 2. (19:00) Emerald Hotel Summer Sprint series Heat One (70) 1000m

Back Me

7 Sam’s Image (Bet Now: $1.90) does look the pick here. Very smart three year old that resumes for Peter Morgan after a strong Spring prep where he ended it with a midfield effort down the straight on Cup Day. Tatura trial win was outstanding and the signs are there that he is wound up big time to go first up.


4 King Of The Ark (Bet Now: $11.00) is a Vincent Malady trained gelding who resumed at Sandown where he had good market support late at odds and the bets were landed with a strong on speed win under Zac Spain. Does tend to save his best for early on in a campaign so while the fire is hot, don’t ignore him.

Long Shot

1 Sunday Pray (Bet Now: $13.00) is a son of Manhattan Rain first up for John Moloney. Form suggests he will be better as the distances increase to 1400m+, but he can pull out a decent run fresh, he has class on his side and his recent jump outs have been quite encouraging. I think he is a must for multiples in a tough race.

Race 3. (19:30) Ladbrokes 55 Second Challenge Heat 9 (78) 955m

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2 Petite’s Reward (Bet Now: $6.50) is a short course specialist for the Brendan McCarthy team who does love racing at the Valley so she gets conditions to suit here. Ran over the 1000m at Sandown last time out and looked all over a winner but was nabbed near the peg by Deconi. First time in a while she has been ridden with cover and it nearly worked. Happy to see what she does here and be in her corner.


5 Jocasta (Bet Now: $3.90) is flying I think. Just hoping she gets the breaks here so she can ambush. Ran over 1100m at Caulfield last Wednesday and was a bit unlucky not to finish closer when fourth to For A Song after getting held up in the straight. If the luck goes her way, I think her finale will be too good for this lot.

Long Shot

Another that might opt for cover is 3 Doc’s Hero (Bet Now: $10.00), who ran last Wednesday at caulfield and was just plain to the eye behind For A Song, coming off the bit before the turn and never really looking likely. She does have a good record at the Valley and if they go silly, she can sit back and launch late.

Race 4. (20:00) Carlton Draught Australia Stakes 1200m

Back Me

1 Brave Smash (Bet Now: $2.10), with normal luck, should be winning this. High class sprinter for the Darren Weir team who resumes here after a brilliant Spring prep to kick off life in Australia, ending the campaign with a third in the Everest behind Redzel. Looked outstanding in a piece of work at Ballarat recently and he looks ready to go.


6 Flippant (Bet Now: $7.00) is a talented mare for Team Snowden who is hard fit and racing well so she has a few things going for her. Tried very hard in the Standish at Flemington on New Years Day but just missed out on picking up Lord Of The Sky. Hasn’t won for a while but she does get conditions to run a bold race here.

Long Shot

2 Ken’s Dream (Bet Now: $11.00) looks a a clear threat to my eye. Not sure he beat much down the straight last Saturday here, but he absolutely bolted up and continued his really good record at this track. 1200m at WFA is a worry, but he’s hard fit, in form and we know he will be very strong at the end of 1200m, especially with most of these being first up.

Race 5. (20:30) Simpson Construction VOBIS Gold Star 1500m

Back Me

6 Widgee Turf (Bet Now: $2.30) is a horse that is just low flying at the moment for Patrick Payne. He has won three for three this time in, the second win coming over the mile here before going to Caulfield where he was given a peach by Billy Egan and drove through to get the win. Hardest test to date here, but you’d like to think he can measure up.


1 Burning Front (Bet Now: $2.30) is known as the ‘Mouse Wheel’, and he bounced back to winning form last start with an all the way win in the Chester Manifold at Flemington under Brad Rawiller, but I will say he was handed the race on a platter and there was bias towards those on speed. But, he has got the confidence up and returns to his favourite track.

Long Shot

3 Setinum (Bet Now: $28.00) is on the quick back up for the Fliedner camp after racing last Saturday at Flemington where he did a bit of work in the run with the big weight but I thought he toughed it out really well when fifth to Malaise. That was the first sign of positive form in ages, so now he’s found some, he can potentially carry on.

Race 6. (21:00) Pedders Suspension Handicap (70) 1200m

Back Me

7 Weld (Bet Now: $17.00) for me. Son of Sebring for Mick Price debuted on New Years Eve at Echuca where he was confidently backed and the punters got it right as he came with a really good run out wide under Jake Noonan to score. Time was nothing flash, but he looked to have room to improve off that and I reckon his racing style will suit here.


1 Andaz (Bet Now: $9.00) is a quality three year old that resumes for Chris Waller. This bloke had a three run Spring prep, highlighted by an eye catching midfield effort in the Coolmore behind Merchant Navy before racing a week later and racing like a tired horse. Trialled up well at Warwick Farm and obviously has a touch of class.

Long Shot

12 Super Snob (Bet Now: $15.00) is a handy three year old first up for the Peter Morgan team. This flly ran some good races towards the end of the Spring and wasn’t far off Our Crown Mistress on Cup Day. Tatura trial looked quite good to the eye in good time, she draws a lovely gate and gets Baster riding. Knockout chance.

Race 7. (21:30) The Valley Summer Stayers Series Heat One (78) 2500m

Back Me

Mick Kent isn’t afraid to think outside the square and he is doing it here with 9 Diamond Grace (Bet Now: $7.00), who is first up at 2500m. Hasn’t raced since mid August over 2400m at Sandown when running well behind High Lago. Recent jump outs at Cranbourne have been encouraging, and really, this isn’t a strong race. I think she can run well.


11 Jimivag (Bet Now: $13.00) is a tough, tough campaigner and he’ll have no trouble with a strong 2500m. He ran over the 3000m at Warrnambool last time out in what was a real slog and I thought he toughed it out really well in defeat when a close up fourth to Shampion. Has run well here before and is right down in the weights.

Long Shot

3 King Kamada (Bet Now: $61.00) is the very interesting runner here. Former Kiwi who is heading down the jumps path but is certainly more than capable on the flat. First up run came in the Woodford Cup where he was far from disgraced behind Artie’s Shore. This horse is a Group l placegetter over two miles, so 2500m no issue here.

Race 8. (22:00) After The Last At Legends Summer Spring Series Heat Two (70) 1200m

Back Me

9 Knight Commander (Bet Now: $2.60) looks one of the hardest to beat here. Looks an above average galloper for the Darren Weir team who comes to town off the back of a dominant win over 1100m at Geelong where he was given a sweet steer by J Allen and he spanked his rivals. Very confident he can measure up here.


6 Haski (Bet Now: $15.00) had put together a couple of really strong placings to kick off the prep prior to racing at Kilmore last time out where he looked a good thing on paper and ran accordingly with a dominant display under Mick Dee. He has come back in super order and he definitely deserves a crack in town.

Long Shot

8 Believing (Bet Now: $10.00) is a Robbie Griffiths trained sprinter who is going really well at the moment. Just needs to crack it for a win. Ran down the straight at Flemington last time and closed off well behind Annhron. I think I’d prefer him at 1200m, and with a good tempo likely, he will be given every chance to finish over the top.

Best Bets & Quaddie Tips

BEST BET: Race Five Number 6 Widgee Turf

NEXT BEST: Race Four Number 1 Brave Smash

VALUE: Race Seven Number 9 Diamond Grace


Quaddie Tips (Races Five Through To Eight):

Leg One: 1, 6

Leg Two: 1, 2, 5, 7, 12

Leg Three: 1, 3, 9, 11

Leg Four: 6, 8, 9, 13

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