Day racing returns to the Valley for the first time since Cox Plate Day this Saturday. The weather is overcast, the track is good (4) and the rail is in the true position for the entire circuit. Keep in mind that on this corresponding meeting last year, the track was rock hard and the track played perfectly, with leaders, swoopers, inside and outside horses all getting their chance.
Race One (12:50) : Summer Membership $99 Handicap (70) 1600m:
Back Me: Keen on the Darren Weir trained 2 Moonlites Choice (Bet Now: $5.50). She was a strong winner on Kyneton Cup Day two back, beating home Diamond Baroness, who ran well against the bias on Ballarat Cup Day. The filly then went to the Twilight Glow and she was ridden too close to the speed. She is much better when she is ridden cold and ambushes late. If that eventuates here she will take some beating.
Big Danger: 1 Invincibella (Bet Now: $1.85) remains in Victoria after running over 1400m on Cup Day at Flemington when making up really good ground between runners to just miss out on victory, settling for third to Jennifer Lynn, and that form has been franked via that filly and Prompt Response. 1600m is no issue and she is so well in at the weights.
Long Shot: 5 Heavenly Descent (Bet Now: $9.00) is a filly who has won her past two outings for Mick Price, the latest coming over 1500m here last Friday night where she was given a lovely ride near the speed by Beau Mertens and the filly kicked on strongly in the straight to record a good win. She is a winner at the track, something the other six runners don’t have on the board. Definite threat. Not so much a long shot, but her $4.50 opening price does seem severe unders.
Race Two (13:25) : Whiteman Property Plate 1000m:
Back Me: 3 Bandipur (Bet Now: $7.00) is a Commands colt that debuts for the Godolphin team and John O’Shea. Macca went to the Cranbourne trials a couple of weeks back to partner this horse and others in a trial where he did everything right and won quite impressively. He was set down to debut in the Merson Cooper, where I had him clearly on top, but was saved and instead tackles the easier option.
Big Danger: 1 Cao Cao (Bet Now: $3.70) was completely unwanted in betting when debuting in the Maribyrnong on Stakes Day where he got back off the speed in the run before poking his way through the ruck and finishing off strongly late in the piece when second to Aspect, who looks to be the most impressive juvenile winner of the season so far. Only has upside/improvement and rates highly.
Long Shot: 4 Blackwolf Run (Bet Now: $6.50) is an All Too Hard colt that debuts for the Mike Moroney yard. He had a jump out at Flemington on November 11 and led throughout to win impressively, winning by several lengths and running time under minimal riding. To the eye, he looks an impressive type, but we won’t know for sure until he is put under race day conditions, but I am prepared to take the gamble.
Race Three (14:00) : MSC Signs Handicap (84) 1000m:
Back Me: 6 Lyuba (Bet Now: $2.70) is a talented mare that is first up for Darren Weir after a very good opening prep, with a couple of wins on the board and an eye catching effort behind subsequent Group l winner Abbey Marie. Her debut run saw him win by a space and beat home a couple of subsequent winners. If she brings that here, she’ll go close.
Big Danger: The scratching of Miss Vista brings a horse like 7 Very Choosey (Bet Now: $2.80) into the mix. She resumes here for Robert Smerdon after two runs in the Autumn, kicking off with a spank job of her rivals over 955m here, including subsequent winner and Stakes performer Rock ‘N’ Gold, before going to the Redelva at Morphettvile where she wasn’t far off star mare Don’t Doubt Mamma. Latest jump out was quite encouraging and she has the early toe to lead these.
Long Shot: 2 Chiavari (Bet Now: $6.50) is a talented mare that resumes for Nick Harnett. She raced very well during the Autumn/Winter, including a strong win at this track/distance. She is yet to miss a place in four previous first up attempts, she draws well, Bayliss remains on and she will be strong late here with a likely hot tempo.
Race Four (14:35) : Art Series Hotel Group Handicap (70) 1200m:
Back Me: I think you have to trust your eye and what you saw with the dominant debut win of 6 Wise Hero (Bet Now: $3.30) at Moe. It was over 1100m and he just spanked them, sprinting clear at the top of the straight, winning with absolute ease and running clearly the fastest 1100m time across three races that afternoon. He didn’t beat an entire bunch of scrubbers because there was Cup Week form there, and the only horse to have raced since out of that maiden, Nine Clouds, bolted up at Ballarat, plus Wise Hero maps very well. Ticks alot of boxes.
Big Danger: 3 Styleman (Bet Now: $9.50) spanked them fresh on the Pakenham Synthetic before racing over 1400m at Flemington on Turnbull Day and not receiving the best of luck behind Inside Agent in a race that has turned out to be a really hot form reference. Jump outs and work since has been impressive to the eye and he looks forward enough to run a ripper here.
Long Shot: 9 Angharad (Bet Now: $12.00) is a filly who has been frustrating if you’ve been following her this Spring. She didn’t have the greatest of luck in her first two runs this time in before stepping out in the Twilight Glow at Sandown where she got back and just stayed there behind Prompt Response. This looks more her level and she has to be respected on her best form.
Race Five (15:15) : Simpson Construction Handicap (78) 1600m:
Back Me: 4 Black Sheep (Bet Now: $3.50) is a track specialist who has had his last two starts here, resulting with a dominant win over the above average Curragh before having absolutely no luck in the straight when a close up second to Entre Nous. Brad Rawiller jumps on and he rides the horse well, plus he is riding about a 30% winning strike recently when steering Darren Weir runners.
Big Danger: 5 Flying Light (Bet Now: $4.60) was perhaps ridden a touch upside down last time out at Geelong where he attempted to lead all the way and though he gave a kick, he was just simply outsprinted by the resuming stayer London Fog. He has a really good record at the Valley and being third up now, he should just about be ready fitness wise.
Long Shot: 8 Aurum Spirit (Bet Now: $11.00) is a greybeard but gee he is racing well. He wasn’t far off beating Maternal two back at Pakenham before running over 1700m at Flemington on Oaks Day where he made up really good ground against the tempo behind Mihany. Long, long time since he has won, and while I doubt he can here, he is a must for exotics and perhaps a place bet.
Race Six (15:50) : Ranvet Handicap (84) 1600m:
Back Me: 2 Beluga Blue (Bet Now: $7.00) is an Adelaide mare in a real purple patch of form at the moment for the Macdonald/Gluyas yard who has won her last two starts back home, both of which in impressive fashion. Go back to to the Autumn and she was running well in the fillies races during the Adelaide Carnival, including the Oaks. She can measure up here for sure and the step up to the mile is a big tick.
Big Danger: 5 Dulverton (Bet Now: $8.50) is a talented mare for Robert Smerdon who will appreciate the drop in depth after contesting Stakes races in recent times and while she has been somewhat outclassed, she has run well. She has a really good record at the Valley and she strikes a very winnable race. Looks one of the hardest to hold out.
Long Shot: This race looks really void of any early tempo so perhaps Yendall can force the issue and roll forward on 12 Hell Or Highwater (Bet Now: $13.00), who has been really good this time in, winning a couple on the trot before going to 1700m on Oaks Day and just got held up a touch late in the piece behind Tavi Bay but certainly was never going to win. If she can lead here and pinch a cheap sectional or two, she’ll take some running down back in trip.
Race Seven (16:30) : 1PRINT Handicap (90) 2040m:
Back Me: 10 Encosta Line (Bet Now: $9.00) was another successful victim of the state switch for Chris Waller when making his Victorian debut at Sandown last week, sitting off a genuine tempo and though he took a little while to balance, he really attacked the line late and was very strong to the line. Been up for a while, but is racing very well and will only improve up to 2000m. Keep in mind that his 1800m time at the track/distance was quicker than that of High Church in the Eclipse.
Big Danger: 2 High Church (Bet Now: $4.50) does indeed come through the Eclipse and despite starting longer odds, his effort behind Turnitaround was pretty good given they didn’t go hard in front, with the leaders running 34 and change for the final 600m, so High Church ran sub 34 to get as close as he did. Loving life under Darren Weir and he ticks alot of boxes here. The negative is that the 1800m time he ran was 10+ lengths slower than the time Encosta Line ran.
Long Shot: 4 Survived (Bet Now: $19.00) resumed over the mile on Stakes Day at Flemington and his effort in a strong looked pretty good to the eye. He sat off speed and stayed there pretty much all the way behind Boom Time but was only beaten 2.5L. Keep in mind he is a Group l winner from his four year old season and he does have a very good record at 2000m+, and the fresh run was no deterrent.
Race Eight (17:10) : Montomorency FC Handicap 1000m:
Back Me: 15 Lucky Symbol (Bet Now: $31.00) is a horse I am prepared to take a gamble with on an each way basis. He is a former Phillip Stokes trained galloper that is now under the care of Kane Harris, a trainer with great success in these class of races with sprinters, and this horse seems to be enjoying life with Harris based on a sharp trial win at Cranbourne recently. If he can get on speed or get cover without too much hassle, he’ll run a very cheeky race at a price.
Big Danger: 11 Rock ‘N’ Gold (Bet Now: $8.50) is a gelding that works and jump outs like Black Caviar, but he just can’t match it on race day. In saying that, his form this time in has been very good. His last start was in the Doveton at Sandown where he sat back and finished off well when a close up third to Husson Eagle. Saves his best for the Valley and strikes a winnable race.
Long Shot: There is going to be a stack of speed here, and the horse that will get the suck run behind it is 2 General Truce (Bet Now: $20.00). He ran down the straight on Oaks Day and ran well but just lacked the killer punch when midfield to Redzel and Terravista, which is Group l form. Great record at the track, Mallyon remains on and as I said, he’ll get run of the race stuff.
Race Nine (17:50) : William Hill Handicap (84) 1200m:
Back Me: 5 Written Up (Bet Now: $9.00) is a talented galloper that is second up here for George Osborne. He resumed during the Gundagai Snake Gully Carnival and I thought his effort with the decent weight was tidy. He has a really good record at the Valley and in fact did produce a brilliant finish to win this race last year. I think he can repeat the dose at a price.
Big Danger: 12 King’s Command (Bet Now: $4.80) is a talented galloper that resumes for Team Corstens. He hasn’t raced since the Summer/Autumn where he strung together a number of wins before taking on better company, including the Group l placed Supido, and not disgracing himself at all. Trial at Cranbourne was sharp to the eye behind Believe Yourself, who ran well at Ballarat, he is a bomb fresh, draws to get a sweet trip behind the speedy Kievann…ticks alot of boxes.
Long Shot: 15 Brockhoff (Bet Now: $5.50) was a solid run fresh over 955m here behind Another Diamond before going to the Doveton at Sandown where he was held up and that riding style is perhaps against him and it just left him with nothing at the finish. I think as he is getting older, I think the best way to ride him is not hold him up and indeed let him roll. If that can eventuate from the good draw here, he is a massive chance.
BEST BET: Race Six Number 2 Beluga Blue
NEXT BEST: Race One Number 2 Moonlites Choice
VALUE: Race Nine Number 5 Written Up
Quaddie Tips (Races Six Through To Nine):
Leg One: 2, 5, 8, 10, 12
Leg Two: 2, 3, 4, 6, 10, 12
Leg Three: 2, 7, 11, 13, 15
Leg Four: 3, 5, 7, 12, 13, 14, 15
$50 Investment= 4.76% of the dividend if successful
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