22 October 2016 (Cox Plate Group 1 racing at Moonee Valley






We return to racing at MOONEE VALLEY with the penetrometer reading 4.75, so currently looking at a SOFT (5) surface, however the chance of thunderstorms and even hail forecast, including anywhere from 5-15mm of rain so very hard to distinguish exactly what the track will be at different times of the day, and most importantly how the track will play on the backup to last night.

RAIL: TRUE (ENTIRE CIRCUIT). We head to MOONEE VALLEY with the rail remaining in the TRUE position after Friday night’s Manikato Stakes card. Given the rain, a little wary about how the track will play 12 months after we experienced a horrendous leaders’ biased track on Cox Plate day. Fingers crossed for an even track where all runners get their chance, pace/luck dependant, but am extremely wary of what presents today to be totally honest. As always, be sure to watch early races for best guide.


Race 1: We start with the two year olds, with many debutants, hence plenty of guesswork involved. Actually was keen on plays for a couple at odds in BALLE D’DOR and MISS WAHOO, after seeing them work Tuesday but both have elected to miss. Firstly, a somewhat speculative play on another we saw work Tuesday in BED TALK @ $17+ with LUXBET and BET365, in addition to FENG CHU @ $13+ (BET365) who finished alongside MISS WAHOO on debut and reminds me of the formline of Dalradian who won this race last year. Main dangers AZAZEL (who we marked as a good worker but has been smashed and is now into rock bottom odds) and LUIZA who similarly worked well, and dungeon followers were on first start when victorious, but very skinny here.

SUGGEST: BED TALK (EACH WAY) @ $19+, FENG CHU (EACH WAY) @ $13+, FIRST FOUR (F / 2, 8 / F / 1, 3) (CONFIDENCE 20%)


Race 2: Open event over 955m and a competitive one at that. Pace/tactics set to be key with several natural leaders/on pacers, coupled with severl runners who prefer to get back. Top pick O’MALLEY @ $3.50+ with LADBROKES, BOOKMAKERS.COM.AU and BETSTAR. Drops in grade, and most importantly not expecting the issues we had on this day 12 months ago where backmarkers were no chance. Best value is GRANE first up @ $17+ with most operators. Main dangers FELINES and GUN CASE.

SUGGEST: O’MALLEY (WIN / EACH WAY) @ $3.50+, GRANE (EACH WAY) @ $17+, FIRST FOUR (1, 7 / 1, 4, 7, 10 / F / 4, 10) (CONFIDENCE 35%)


Race 3: Next is a Listed event for the three year old fillies over 1200m and personally think this runs deep, hence looking to play around three at big odds. We’ll start with BLOWING KISSES @ $11+ (UBET, BET365) who worked very impressively on Tuesday morning with the talented Zanbagh, arguably a touch better on the line. Next is *ZAMZAM* at a very juicy $41+ with BET365. Given the odds will make a BEST LONGSHOT bet of the day. Has good fresh form, winning one, the other a 1.5L defeat to key rival here in SWEET SHERRY. Massive discrepancy in the odds as a result, $5 v $41! Finally, ROSA CAROLINA @ $26+ with BET365. Note McDonald and Bowman on two runners each here, including emergencies ANGHARAD and ROSA CAROLINA which is a good sign. Main dangers SWEET SHERRY, ANGHARAD and BRULEE.

SUGGEST: BLOWING KISSES (EACH WAY) @ $11+, *ZAMZAM* (EACH WAY) @ $41+, ROSA CAROLINA (EACH WAY) @ $26+, FIRST FOUR (3, 9, 17 / F / 2, 15, 18, 2, 5, 18) (CONFIDENCE 30%)


Race 4: Next is a Group 3 for the three year olds over 1200m and think KEN’S DREAM @ $2.85+ (BET365) can get back in the winner’s stalls after getting poleaxed by Oliver  aboard Flying Artie last time. No idea how Oliver believes he shouldn’t have been suspended. Very dangerous and thankfully no major injuries to jockeys and horses involved. Blowout hope to BIG JOHN CANNON who hopefully has more than just a great name. Worked well enough Tuesday morning for a $126+ pop (SPORTSBET, BET365) so why not a small each way play. Main dangers ARCHIVES and PALLADIAN.



Race 5: Group 3 for the mares over the mile (1600m) and although I concede LADY LE FAY is most definitely the one to beat, can’t entertain with much enthusiasm at the skinny @ $2.40+ pricetag with most operators. Prefer to play in a one out early quaddie leg and/or saving multies instead of major standalone investment on a day like this, especially with the unknowns surrounding the track. Instead think better value lies with **METAPHORICAL** @ $9+ with LADBROKES, BOOKMAKERS.COM.AU and BETSTAR after having no luck in recent outings. Can bounce back here and happy to make a BEST VALUE bet of the day, ahead of ALASKAN ROSE @ $10+ with BET365. Worked well here on Tuesday morning and seems to be racing in career best form. Main danger the obvious in LADY LE FAY who brings the right form to a race like this and should be hard to beat, followed by ROCKET COMMANDER and CORONATION SHALLAN who won this last year.  

SUGGEST: **METAPHORICAL** (EACH WAY) @ $9+, ALASKAN ROSE (EACH WAY) @ $10+, FIRST FOUR (1, 2, 3 / 5, 9 / F / 5, 9) (CONFIDENCE 35%) 


Race 6: Next is the Group 2 Fillies Classic for the three year old fillies over the mile (1600m) and the value here is with **LA LUNA ROSSA** @ $8.50+ with UBET. Happy to give another chance with the important gear change of blinkers off first time, and make a BEST VALUE bet of the day. Then, also want something on EXOCET @ $11+ with BET365 who has done little wrong in short career and can bounce back here. Main dangers the obvious in SEZANNE and I AM A STAR.

SUGGEST: **LA LUNA ROSSA** (WIN / EACH WAY) @ $8.50+, EXOCET (WIN / EACH WAY) @ $11+, FIRST FOUR (F / 1, 3 / F / 2, 5) (CONFIDENCE 35%)


Race 7: Now for the Group 2 Chrystal Mile and an ultra-competitive race which runs deep. Most runners with legitimate claims, but sticking with the ‘best horse’ rule in the form of THE UNITED STATES @ $3+ (BET365). I think if THE UNITED STATES is 100%, then he should be winning, however has had some issues, hence the break since last run. Be sure to take a good look at him in the yard and be sure to monitor market for any notably betting drifts or support. Throw a blanket over most others in a very even affair on paper. Pace/tactics set to be key and don’t be surprised if simply the best ride wins.



Race 8: Next is the Group 2 Moonee Valley Gold Cup to be run over 2500m and pace/tactics (and how track is playing) key. Not much between many of them here, however slight lean GALLANTE on a primary basis @ $3.80+ (most operators) who is does very little wrong in recent times with last three runs spaced over the past 7 months. Then want a secondary play on GRAND MARSHAL @ $21+ with SPORTSBET and BET365. Will appreciate the cut in the ground is a very consistent galloper. Main dangers EXCESS KNOWLEDGE and SECOND WAVE.



Race 9: And now it’s time for the big one, the weight for age championship of Australasia and what a mouth-watering feast we have on our plates today. Saw the new queen of the turf Tuesday morning and all I can say is ‘wow’. She (WINX) is bigger, stronger and looks simply better than when she smashed a quality field here 12 months ago. Don’t see any reason to jump off her here with everything in her favour, including barrier which should allow gun hoop Hugh Bowman to put her in the perfect position. Her work here over the weekend was out of this world and made a very good mare in Lady Le Fay look like a Murray Bridge maiden galloper. Primary WIN only play on the champ @ $1.90+, however surely we’ll get $2 before jump time, given the massive pools the bookies will have to play with. Then, looking at secondary plays on LUCIA VALENTINA @ $19+ with most operators, who simply wants the rain to keep coming and come down as hard as possible. Quite simply, chances increase with each drop of rain that hits the track. Then, finally want something on *HAPPY CLAPPER* at a crazy $126+ with BET365. Have always rated this guy and is one who has at least been competitive with the champ albeit at much better weight conditions than WFA. Given the odds will make a BEST LONGSHOT bet of the day. Main dangers most definitely HARTNELL (who is going as well as anything running around at the moment) and YANKEE ROSE with the featherweight of 47.5kg, who I really wanted to squeeze in but gave LUCIA VALENTINA the nod given the rain about. Cracking race, let’s hope it lives up to all the hype.

SUGGEST: WINX (WIN) @ $1.90+, LUCIA VALENTINA (EACH WAY) @ $19+, *HAPPY CLAPPER* (EACH WAY) @ $126+, FIRST FOUR (3, 10 / 8 / F / 5, 9), (3, 10 / F / 8 / 5, 9), FIRST FOUR (3, 8 / 3, 8 / F / F) (CONFIDENCE 65%) 


Race 10: We finish with the Group 2 Vase Stakes for the three year olds over 2040m and another ultra-competitive race with little between many. Looking at a couple at double figure odds here, both of which worked well on Tuesday and appeared in our summary. First is VELADERO who looks to be going very well, however the obvious query is the wide gate and where Bowman will end up in the run. Hoping that sitting three wide with cover would be okay on a day like today, but obviously if posted three wide, will make it very tough, even if the rail is off later in the day. Either way, at $13+ (SPORTSBET) worth the punt with gun hoop Bowman aboard who I trust to work some magic. The other is SILVERA @ $13+ also, who worked nicely with stablemates Scherzoso who ran a nice 4th last night, and top class stablemate Don’t Doubt Mamma. Main dangers PRIZED ICON and HARLOW GLOW but race doesn’t end there.

SUGGEST: VELADERO (EACH WAY) @ $13+, SILVERA (EACH WAY) @ $13+, FIRST FOUR (1, 11 / 1, 3, 5, 11 / F / 3, 5) (CONFIDENCE 35%) 




Average odds $23.74+ per suggested runner!