A Cox Plate start awaits the winner of the Dato Tan Chin Nam (1600m) this Saturday at the Valley and the Group ll highlights a fab card of racing. The weather is fine, the track is good (3) and the rail is in the true position for the entire circuit.
Race 1. (12:30) Big Swing Golf Handicap (84) 1600m
I’ll go with the class, with lies with 1 Pleasuring (Bet Now: $6.00 FAT ODDS), who is first up for Darren Weir. She had a fabulous first half of the year, highlighted by wins in the Tassie Oaks and Fillies Classic in SA. Looks a real stayer, but a recent jump out was more than encouraging and we know she’ll be strong late. Happy to take a chance on her fresh.
2 Naantali (Bet Now: $2.95 FAT ODDS) is the form mare in the race but you do have to question what upside is left. She took on some decent mares last time at Caulfield and was found out late when well held into second spot by Miss Siska. The extra week to recover from that should help her cause and has to be respected…I just couldn’t back her if she’s too short.
4 Sharing (Bet Now: $11.00 FAT ODDS) is a talented yet frustrating mare to follow given her racing pattern but on ability she’s certainly capable of beating this lot. On the quick back up after racing over 1400m last Saturday at Caulfield where she got back and worked home well late behind Bellaria. Up to the mile should suit her. Just needs luck in running.
Race 2. (13:05) Horse Gym Australia Handicap (78) 1600m
If 11 Lucky For All (Bet Now: $3.90 FAT ODDS) is right, he wins. Very good galloper for Darren Weir that resumes here after taking pretty much all before him in the Winter, creating a big impression but perhaps was a bridge too far in the Queensland Derby. Furrion bolted up on Sunday, so using that as a guide, I expect this horse to be forward.
9 Romanesque (Bet Now: $19.00 FAT ODDS) had good specking at longer odds when racing over this track/distance a fortnight back and yes he was helped by bias towards those nearer the inside, but he worked to the line quite strongly when second to Strike Force. Stays at the mile, which is a query, given he is best suited at 2000m+, but off that last start, he can go close.
1 Curragh (Bet Now: $34.00 FAT ODDS) is going in near career best form at the moment for the Busuttin/Young team. He hasn’t raced since the Coffs Harbour Cup where he ran a close up second to Glitra, with that horse controlling things from the front and proving too good. That horse went on to win at Doomben, so the form has got a tick. Just has to handle the class rise.
Race 3. (13:40) 1Print Handicap 1500m
If she can tick the 1500m box, 5 Kinky Boom (Bet Now: $7.00 FAT ODDS) will take some beating. She produced one of the runs day over 1200m here a fortnight back, working home strongly from near last and came wide, which was quicksand for the afternoon. Got the brilliance to beat these, just needs to stretch it out to 1500m.
7 Savvy Oak (Bet Now: $12.00 FAT ODDS) is a son of Savabeel for the Busuttin/Young team who was a drifter in betting when debuting last Monday at Echuca where Regan took him back to last in the run before bringing him widest on the turn and produced a lovely finale to ambush them and win. Looks a really good type and the extra 300m should be no issue.
9 Tavirun (Bet Now: $21.00 FAT ODDS) rises a fair bit in depth/grade but he does look as if he won’t be doing much work on speed. He ran in a 1350m maiden at Donald a fortnight back where he was under pressure a fair way out but once he balanced up the final 200m, he surged and just proved too good. Should eat up the trip and Meech sticks.
Race 4. (14:15) Harrolds Handicap 2040m
2 Trap For Fools (Bet Now: $3.60 FAT ODDS) clearly for me. He was helped by the bias last time at this track/distance but keep in mind he was a little while between runs so he was vulnerable fitness wise but he was strongest at the end. Think he can only improve off that and is a proven weight carrier so he ticks plenty of boxes.
10 Sikandarabad (Bet Now: $8.00 FAT ODDS) is a Hayes/Dabernig trained import who has been really impressive this time in. He comes through the Trap For Fools race mentioned above and his effort against the bias was very good I thought to run third. If the track plays more evenly, which I assume it will, he can definitely turn the tables.
14 Last Week (Bet Now: $34.00 FAT ODDS) could be an improver at decent odds. She is two weeks between runs since racing over the mile at Morphettville where he loomed large to win the race with around 200m to go but just peaked late when fourth to Modulate. Got plenty of upside left and does have a good record here. Doubt he wins, but a must for exotics.
Race 5. (14:50) McEwen Stakes 1000m
I’m a believer that 2 Nature Strip (Bet Now: $1.40) is a high class sprinter…am I a believer he’s an Everest contender? Perhaps. Can he win it? I still say no. But I think he’ll put this field away, like he did last time in the Lightning at Morphettville. That win was stunning and simply out of this world, with Sunlight bouncing off that to win the Quezette. He’ll jump and run, and probably win, and did look outstanding in a recent Warrnambool jump out.
If you’re using Santa Ana Lane as a guide as to how forward 5 Shoals (Bet Now: $6.00) is, I dare say she’ll need the run but she obviously has class on her side, being a three time Group l winner from last season. Looked outstanding in a Cranbourne trial win a couple of weeks back and appears in top order for the Everest…but can she give Nature Strip a start and beat him?
I think 7 Quilista (Bet Now: $11.00) can improve. She was kept very safe in betting when resuming in the Carlyon but was just run off her legs and couldn’t get a chance to balance up when fourth to Faatinah. Might need one more, but bear in mind in the Robert Sangster, she had no luck behind Shoals, so she’s up to this level.
Race 6. (15:30) Atlantic Jewel Stakes 1200m
I’ll take a chance on 4 Spanish Whisper (Bet Now: $5.50), a Hayes/Dabernig filly from NZ who makes her Australian debut. This girl had four runs across the Tasman and gee her form reads well, with Avantage involved in a couple of form races and she’s one of the best three year olds in NZ. Two jump outs at Flemington have been sharp, nothing flash on the clock, but the way she has gone about it has been impressive.
7 Anjana (Bet Now: $5.00) is a high quality filly resuming for Darren Weir. Early Winter form is generally something you have to be cautious with but this girl really did look the part in three runs, winning each time, including a pretty sharp win at this track/distance. I’m sure she’s had a jump out and stable is absolutely flying.
6 Assertive Play (Bet Now: $8.50) is a daughter of Akeed Mofeed resuming for Phillip Stokes. This girl had two runs in the early part of the Winter in Adelaide, winning 2/2, including a win over Thorondor, who franked that form in the McNeil, which does read well for this, and her recent trial back home looked very good to the eye.
Race 7. (16:10) Bendigo Bank Stakes 1200m
Going to side with 11 Tulip (Bet Now: $5.50). The market flucs when she resumed at this track/distance two weeks ago suggested she had three legs and while she didn’t win, she certainly ran better than what the market expected, running Merriest to a half length. I’m hoping Regan comes out hard from the gates and then gets the drag up via Ozi Choice.
5 Land Of Plenty (Bet Now: $4.60) is flying for Darren Weir. He was a narrow second to Osborne Bulls in the Regal Roller and tried to go with the Godolphin gelding but he just had the sharper turn of foot and proved too good. Land Of Plenty will come into his own when he gets to the Sir Rupert Clarke but he can go close here.
12 Iconoclasm (Bet Now: $5.50) is a Darren Weir trained four year old who was a real warrior during the Winter months, being a real punters pal. He resumed a fortnight back at this track/distance and the bias/tempo was a touch against him but he was warming to the task late when third to Merriest. Won his lone second up run and should come right on from that.
Race 8. (16:50) Dato Tan Chin Nam Stakes 1600m
I think you have to believe what you saw with 7 Night’s Watch (Bet Now: $3.80) last Saturday at Caulfield. Admittedly, he probably didn’t beat much, but it was the dominance of the win that impressed and the clock backed him up, running better late splits than Humidor when winning the Memsie. He’s flying this horse and the mile looks perfect. Just has to handle the class rise.
1 Hartnell (Bet Now: $3.80) is a proven big time performer who has dodged the Memsie to be saved for this. He resumed in the PB Lawrence and tried his heart out nearer the inside but Showtime just nabbed him late. Moonee Valley isn’t his track I don’t think, largely because Winx has broken his heart, but he does have class on his side.
9 Bonneval (Bet Now: $6.00) has plenty of class and did score a fab win in this race last year. I’d say that whatever she does here, she will improve on. Taupo trial a couple of weeks back, to the eye, was pretty ordinary, but her work since has been quite good. Looks more dour than ever, so wait for her at 2000m+ I think, but she goes in all exotics given how good we know she can be.
Race 9. (17:30) Craig Opie Handicap 1600m
I’m happy to have something each way on 1 Gallic Chieftain (Bet Now: $18.00), who resumes for Darren Weir after a solid Autumn/Winter prep, highlighted by a triumph in the Warrnambool Cup. Ended the prep with a down the track effort in the O’Shea behind Egg Tart. Best form is over further, but he likes racing here and his recent jump outs have been quite sharp.
3 Moss ‘N’ Dale (Bet Now: $5.50) is a Peter Gelagotis trained galloper who has been in work a little while but continues to race really well. He ran over 1500m here a fortnight back where he was near the speed throughout and fought on very well to run a game third to Theanswermyfriend, who won the Penny Edition last Saturday to frank the form. He can win with the right run near the pace.
12 Sopressa (Bet Now: $8.50) is a quality mare for the Darren Weir stable who looked big in condition when resuming in the race won by Theanswermyfriend, a race dominated by those near the speed, but she did a good job to work home very late in the piece. Think she might want a touch further, but if the speed is on, she’ll be strong at the end.
Best Bets & Quaddie Tips
BEST BET: Race Two Number 11 Lucky For All
NEXT BEST: Race Five Number 2 Nature Strip
LONG SHOT: Race Nine Number 1 Gallic Chieftain
Quaddie Tips (Races Six Through To Nine):
Leg One: 1, 4, 6, 7
Leg Two: 4, 5, 6, 11, 12
Leg Three: 1, 2, 7, 9
Leg Four: 1, 3, 5, 6, 12
$50 Investment= 12.50% of the dividend if successful
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