Night racing at the Valley for the season kicks off this Friday evening where it is Moir Stakes Night, with a highlight also being a trial featuring Chautauqua. 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) WM Waste Management Plate 1200m
I’ll take a chance on 7 Ringerdingding, (Bet Now: $6.00 FAT ODDS) formerly with Ed O’Rourke but is now with the Darren Weir team and we know how good he is at improving tried horses. This colt hasn’t raced since finishing last in the San Domenico where he wanted to show everyone he was a man in the mounting yard. Would love to see him gelded, but for now he’s not. Searching jump out at Ballarat last week but looked decent enough.
11 Octane (Bet Now: $10.00 FAT ODDS) is a blueblood for the Maher/Eustace team who looks to be doing a bit wrong but no denying there is a decent engine under the hood. Did a good job on debut at Cranbourne before getting the easy kill at Wangaratta where it was pretty much a sit and steer job for Mick Dee. Gets every chance from gate one and is a clear threat.
I like 1 Commander (Bet Now: $18.00 FAT ODDS) as a horse. Just want to see him rather than back him fresh. He won the Phoenix during the Brisbane Winter Carnival and was tipped out straight after. Couple of trials leading in, he’s got the quality to win. Just not sure where he gets to from the draw. Might have to give away too much start.
Race 2. (19:00) Stocks Stakes 1600m
It looks like it’ll be pretty easy work for 1 I Am A Star (Bet Now: $2.00 FAT ODDS). Thought Melham gave the mare a 12/10 steer last time out in the Let’s Elope, punching her out from the wide gate to have her on speed and she eventually just got the better of Bella Martini. Fab record at this track/distance and she should be winning barring any bad luck.
Was hard to ignore the resumption of 5 Sheezdashing (Bet Now: $4.60 FAT ODDS) in the Let’s Elope at Flemington. I thought she did an outstanding job to get as close as she did to I Am A Star and Bella Martini, closing off really strongly late to only go down narrowly. Record here on paper doesn’t read great, but the two runs upon watching the replays were very good.
I want to give 3 Samovare (Bet Now: $10.00 FAT ODDS) a chance here. Quality mare for the Hayes/Dabernig team who was friendless in betting when resuming the Let’s Elope at Flemington a couple of weeks back and given how the race was run, I thought she got a definite pass mark behind I Am A Star. Good record at the Valley and goes really well second up. Confident she can bounce back and run a forward race.
Race 3. (19:30) JRA Cup 2040m
I’m expecting 1 Harlem (Bet Now: $11.00 FAT ODDS) to go close here if he’s going to be heading down the Cups path. Two runs back have been okay, the latest in the Makybe Diva behind Grunt where he got back and couldn’t come on. The drop in depth should suit this horse big time and he did win the Australian Cup third up last prep.
If he runs up to his best, 2 The Taj Mahal (Bet Now: $5.25 FAT ODDS) would be winning. Team Williams have this bloke, who on face value was disappointing in the Makybe Diva, but post race, he was found to be galloped on several times in the run and was quite sore so clear excuses there. At his best, he wins this. Market will be the guide.
5 Sir Isaac Newton (Bet Now: $9.00 FAT ODDS) can certainly win this if he’s anywhere near right. He resumed over 1700m at Flemington a fortnight ago where he was completely unwanted in betting but I loved the way he closed his race off when fourth to the high class animal Furrion. He has class on his side and that return was more than encouraging.
Race 4. (20:00) 55 Second Challenge Heat 1 (84) 955m
Hoping 4 Goldfinch (Bet Now: $3.50 FAT ODDS) can jump, run and win. Very speedy customer for Steve Englebrecht who was beautifully placed when resuming over 1050m at Doomben a fortnight ago, leading all the way on a track which has suited leaders recently. The Valley has been much the same this season, so if he jumps and finds the lead, it could well be game over.
Huge fan of 1 You’ve Been Had (Bet Now: $2.80 FAT ODDS) , who comes here for Lisa Enright off a little freshen up. Hasn’t raced since scoring a sharp win over 1000m here on August 4 when ridden a treat by Ben Melham, albeit in a weak 78. Different kettle of fish here, but stable is one who should be respected and his tick over trial was very good.
8 Petite’s Reward (Bet Now: $41.00 FAT ODDS) will love the drop back to this level. Brendan McCarthy trains this mare, who has taken on some decent races throughout her career and in recent times has run well but hasn’t won. Looks ideally suited back to this kind of race and if she can get on speed without doing much work, she can win.
Race 5. (20:45) Stutt Stakes 1600m
2 Muswellbrook (Bet Now: $5.50) looks a really good Derby prospect for the Hayes/Dabernig team. Resumed with a solid third over 1400m at Flemington behind Crockett before racing over 1500m at the Valley where he was given a lovely ride by Nolen and he loomed large to win but Tavirun had the bias in his corner and proved too good. Up to the mile, third up, looks well placed.
4 Leonardo Da Hinchi (Bet Now: $1.90) is a ripper for Darren Weir who is yet to run a bad race in four career outings. He comes through the Exford Plate at Flemington where he loomed and for a few strides looked as if he’d beat Brutal, but the Team Hawkes colt kicked hard in front and just proved too good. The 1600m should be okay, he’s hard fit, in form and has had experience.
5 Farooq (Bet Now: $13.00) is a lovely looking son of Frankel for Tony McEvoy. Smart first up win on the Parks track at Morphettville before going to the Exford where he looked a touch flat behind Brutal. Third up now, he should be hard fit, ready to go, and stable does have a good record in this race. He’s the knockout chance.
Race 6. (21:15) Scarborough Stakes 1200m
Just how good is 11 Golden Halo? (Bet Now: $4.20) That’s the question I think we’ll get answered here because there is good depth engaged, but she’s looked outstanding since day one. Ran over 1100m at Morphettville last time and bolted in, beating home Gytrash, who pushed Written By at Caulfield, so that form reads very well for this and the extra trip is ideal.
I reckon Lee Curtis has placed 3 Meryl (Bet Now: $7.50) really nicely here. This filly comes through the Heritage from Randwick a fortnight ago where I thought she ran a really good race against a field which looked to have depth to it, though the rank outsider Ragged Rascal got the job done. Back to her own age/sex…just has to see out the 1200m to just about be winning.
10 Bubbles’N’Troubles (Bet Now: $10.00) is a daughter of Hinchinbrook for Chris Waller. Few weeks between runs when racing over 1200m at Canterbury at the midweeks where she was confidently supported and tried hard but was nabbed late by Nuke. Racing as if a fast run 1200m will suit and for mine, if the breaks go her way, she certainly can win.
Race 7. (21:45) Moir Stakes 1000m
7 Viddora (Bet Now: $9.50) is clearly the forgotten sprinter. Only have to cast your mind back to last year and this race. You could make a very strong case that she should have won when beaten a lip by She Will Reign. Been given a good spell after a frustrating Adelaide prep, and has really looked the part in trials/jump outs, looking to be back near her best form, which would be good enough to go close here.
Is he a contender or pretender? That question is at the forefront of 6 Nature Strip (Bet Now: $1.80) and we will get a true guide as to how good he is. He smashed the track record in winning the McEwen at this track/distance last time, but what you can’t get out of your mind is that he was getting the staggers late. You’d have to think there will be more pressure applied this time against some high quality boys and girls. What you can’t overlook is that he continually runs fast time.
If they go stupid hard, a mare who’ll be strong late is 10 Spright (Bet Now: $41.00), who resumes for Garry Frazer. This mare comes here off the back of a brilliant win from the back in the Healy during the Brisbane Winter Carnival. Tipped out and has looked quite sharp in a couple of 1000m barrier trials, seemingly with intent to run well here first up. I think she’s definitely worth an each way ticket.
Race 8. (22:15) Mypunter.com Handicap (90) 1200m
Just siding with the race fitness of 8 Choisborder (Bet Now: $4.00) in a race that could easily be mistaken for a blacktype event. Darren Weir trains this gelding, who was a hard odds on pop when racing over 1200m at Echuca over a month back and despite a few nervous moments, his class came to the fore late and he proved too good and lost a plate in the run which adds merit. Been freshened up, but looked very sharp in a recent Ballarat jump out.
5 Isaurian (Bet Now: $2.50) is a quality animal for James Cummings who took on an average field when resuming at Sandown and despite a couple of nervous moments, his class came to the fore late and he proved too good. Lone second up record, he ran close to knocking off I Am Excited, which reads well for this.
6 Manuel (Bet Now: $11.00) could be the big improver. He was well fancied when resuming in the feature sprint on Balaklava Cup Day but he didn’t appear 100% happy on the track and I think is a forgive for his ordinary finale when third to Showpero, who is a proven Valley performer. Good second up record and up to 1200m, perhaps with cover, will see him more effective.
Best Bets & Quaddie Tips
BEST BET: Race Two Number 1 I Am A Star
NEXT BEST: Race Four Number 4 Goldfinch
LONG SHOT: Race Seven Number 7 Viddora
Quaddie Tips (Races Five Through To Eight):
Leg One: 1, 2, 4, 5
Leg Two: 3, 10, 11, 12
Leg Three: 1, 6, 7, 8, 10
Leg Four: 5, 6, 8, 11
$50 Investment= 12.50% of the dividend if successful
All odds are subject to change. Odds listed are correct at the time of the latest update.
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