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Racing returns to Moonee Valley this Saturday, the first time since June 17, for McKenzie Stakes Day. The weather is fine, the track is soft (6) and the rail is in the true position for the entire circuit.

Race 1. (12:25) McMahon's Dairy Handicap 2500m

Back Me

8 Cismontane (Bet Now: $3.80) on top in the opener. Tough, tough stayer for the Waterhouse/Bott team who ran over 2400m at Sandown last Wednesday and showed great heart on speed but High Lago got the bob in at the right time. Looks to lead comfortably here and on the minimum, he could take some catching.

Danger

4 Charlevoix (Bet Now: $2.45) is a few weeks between runs since racing in the VOBIS Gold Stayers at Caulfield and really, if you were on him, it was just an utter nightmare. From the 600m onwards, he was always in a nasty spot and only got out with 40m go. He was a good thing beaten. Finds a very winnable race here.

Long Shot

1 Loresho (Bet Now: $4.20) is another import for OTI and Darren Weir who is gradually building up fitness and the miles in the legs to run a race here at odds. He ran over 2000m at Flemington last time and stuck on really well at bolters odds behind Aloft. Really good record at the 2500m and has upside.

Race 2. (13:00) Dr Sheahan Plate (84) 1200m

Back Me

4 Merriest (Bet Now: $5.00) is a quality mare that resumes for the Danny O’Brien camp. She put together a good sample of work during the Autumn, including a last start ripping effort in the Euclase behind Sweet Sherry. Jump outs have been sharp, as well as the trial most recently. She goes well fresh and has class/quality on her side, plus is a winner at the Valley.

Danger

10 Fragonard (Bet Now: $4.80) is a talented mare first up for Godolphin and James Cummings. This mare ran really well during the Winter, including a six length romp at Sandown before a narrow second to Pedrena at Caulfield. Like what I have seen at the jump outs, she goes well fresh and should get every chance from the gate.

Long Shot

3 Pure Pride (Bet Now: $12.00) is a classy mare that resumes here. She could easily be a multiple Group l winner but her racing pattern is just horrible and it will always mean she gets more bad luck than good, as we saw right throughout the Autumn. No jump outs that I know of, but her class will carry her a long way.

Race 3. (13:35) Johnnie Walker Plate 1200m

Back Me

5 Garrard (Bet Now: $4.60) is a smart filly resuming for the Busuttin/Young team. She has been lightly raced throughout her career but gee she has some form next to her name. Two back beat Sebfire, a subsequent city winner, before racing down the straight and beating all bar subsequent Percy Sykes winner Shoals. Recent jump out was outstanding and she looks ready to go.

Danger

1 Tulip (Bet Now: $2.45) is a high class filly for Coolmore who is first up for the Hayes/Dabernig team. This girl was outstanding in the Autumn, with unbelievable efforts in the Blue Diamond and Slipper, with a Magic Night in between, but was looking for the paddock by the time the Sires came around. Trial/Jump outs have been very good and she has class on her side. Just has to overcome the sticky gate.

Long Shot

4 Roomooz (Bet Now: $5.50) is an above average Fastnet Rock filly first up for Tony McEvoy. She went down the Blue Diamond Path after a dominant debut win in Adelaide and while she ran well, she didn’t quite measure up. Like what I have seen at the jump outs and draws to stalk Garrard.

Race 4. (14:10) Ranvet Handicap (78) 1600m

Back Me

12 Sin To Win (Bet Now: $2.80) on top. Former kiwi who had his first Australian run for the Hayes/Dabernig team at Flemington over 1400m three weeks back and loomed to win but just couldn’t quite finish it off when a narrow third to Nozomi. That looks really good form for this and he should only improve off that fitness wise.

Danger

19 Rebellious Lord (Bet Now: $3.60) is a progressive galloper from the Bool who arguably should be unbeaten. Had no luck two back over the Flemington 1400m behind Portman before stepping up in trip where he had to drag the field up to the leaders and was only beaten off very late by Jaminzah. If he can get the drag up, he’s the one.

Long Shot

15 Tavi Bay (Bet Now: $61.00) could represent value here at huge odds. She comes through a hot mares race first up over 1400m when running last behind Swampland but that field did look to have really good depth to it. She has a much better second up record, strikes a weaker field and draws to get good cover and ambush late.

Race 5. (14:45) MSC Signs Handicap 2040m

Back Me

10 Bling Dyansty (Bet Now: $8.00) looks ready to win to my eye but he has found a deep handicap here. His effort a fortnight back over 2000m at Flemington was very good I thought behind Alward. Got left a bit flatfooted at the top of the straight and seemingly was going nowhere but he picked up and was closing off with purpose late. Unbeaten in two runs at the Valley and gets much needed weight relief.

Danger

Great to see the Melbourne Cup winner 1 Alamandin (Bet Now: $7.50) back at the races. He hasn’t raced since scoring that great win on the first Tuesday in November, so how forward he is remains to be seen, but he obviously has the class factor, and he actually does perform quite well on the fresh. Market will be the guide.

Long Shot

8 Ruling Dynasty (Bet Now: $31.00) had his first run for the Weir camp over the mile three weeks back and numerically, it doesn’t read great, but I thought his effort was solid enough. Never looked likely given where he was in the run but he did hit the line nicely and ran through it well enough to suggest that Weir may be getting this horse back to his best form.

Race 6. (15:25) Essendon Nissan McKenzie Stakes 1200m

Back Me

3 Bandipur (Bet Now: $3.90) on top. Smart colt for Godolphin who spanked them fresh at Moe before a gutsy second at Caulfield behind a potential star. He then went to the Lightning at Morphettville where ridden a treat by Tourneur and finished best to get some blacktype. Hard fit, draws well here and Williams is on. Ticks the boxes.

Danger

1 Azazel (Bet Now: $6.00) is a smart colt for the Tony McEvoy yard who was a slight drifter in betting when resuming down the straight at Flemington three weeks back but that didn’t matter to him as he produced a lovely turn of foot from off the pace to nail Wait For No One near the peg. Stable did think this time last year he was the best 2YO they had. Keen to see if he can live up to that expectation here, or somewhere near that.

Long Shot

6 Lone Eagle (Bet Now: $7.50) is a three year old son of Zoffany trained by Mick Price who comes here off a little freshen up. He hasn’t raced since July 1 at Caulfield over this trip when coming with a well timed run under Oliver to get the win at start three. Was down to run in the Vain last week but wasn’t 100% so stable held back and waited for this, the softer option.

Race 7. (16:05) SAJ Fruit Supply Carlyon Stakes 1000m

Back Me

You’d be surprised if the nippy mare 10 Heatherly (Bet Now: $2.00) got rolled here. She had three runs for the Ellerton/Zahra camp in the Autumn, resuming in the Lightning when beaten two lengths by Terravista in a blanket finish before bolting up in the Hoysted. The mare then went to the Galaxy and she just couldn’t pick her feet up on the bog plus she was tardy away. Jump outs, as always, have been fantastic, and she did score a great win in this race last year.

Danger

Really keen to see what 11 Missrock (Bet Now: $6.00) does here. Smart mare for Robbie Laing that is first up here after running a mighty race in the Goodwood when wide throughout and sticking on courageously behind Vega Magic. Like what I saw in a Cranbourne jump out earlier in the month and she is beautifully in at the weights.

Long Shot

7 O’Malley (Bet Now: $14.00) is a smart sprinter that resumes for the Jusufovic camp. He is a Moonee Valley specialist who hasn’t raced since June 10 down the Flemington straight when finishing midfield behind Lake Como. He flies fresh, and even more so at the Valley. Look for him to launch late.

Race 8. (16:45) Ladbrokes Handicap 1500m

Back Me

This really is a waddle your finger and hope for the best scenario. I’m interested to see how 10 Harlow Gold (Bet Now: $9.50) performs. As we know, the record of being a very good 3YO filly turning to a 4YO mare isn’t great, and she does find an interesting race to see how she can measure up. Jump outs have been quite good and she can run well first up.

Danger

5 Raw Impulse (Bet Now: $4.50) is a classy stayer resuming for the Weir camp and Australia Bloodstock. Heading towards possibly the Cups, so I am sure whatever he does here, he will improve on, but he is another that has abundance of class on his side and he can sprint well fresh. Hard to beat.

Long Shot

13 Here To There (Bet Now: $8.00) with the featherweight has to be included. Given a lovely ride by Ethan Brown to win last Saturday over 1400m, diving back to nearer the inside and lunging hard to get the win. Gets only 51kg after the claim for Steph Thornton, maps well and is a winner here.

Race 9. (17:20) Art Series Hotel Group Handicap (90) 1200m

Back Me

10 Oberland (Bet Now: $3.80) had his first run for the Weir camp a few weeks weeks back over the 1100m at Caulfield and it was just a sickening watch if you were on, like I was. Bailed away on the rail, nowhere to go…it was a barrier trial. Market said he’d run well too, so I’m keen to see him here in a strong race.

Danger

Can’t take anything away from the win of 5 Red Alto (Bet Now: $12.00) first up down the Flemington straight. To most, it was a shock, but you could have easily made a case for him and he ran up to that. Not quite as dynamic second up, but he has been given the three week break, Turner is riding in fab form and his claim really helps.

Long Shot

I think 1 Mighty Like (Bet Now: $20.00) could be the big improver here at odds. He has had two runs back from a break now down the Flemington straight for Mick Price, finishing midfield each start and racing quite well. He has run well at the Valley, should be hard fit third up and gets the claim for Caserta, plus he maps okay.

Best Bets & Quaddie Tips

BEST BET: Race Seven Number 10 Heatherly

NEXT BEST: Race Six Number 3 Bandipur

VALUE: Race Five Number 10 Bling Dynasty

 

Quaddie Tips (Races Six Through To Nine):

Leg One: 1, 3, 4, 6

Leg Two: 10

Leg Three: 4, 5, 8, 9, 10, 13

Leg Four: 1, 2, 5, 10, 12

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Racecourse: Moonee Valley
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