SATURDAY, DECEMBER 31, 2016
We return to racing at MOONEE VALLEY on a Saturday with the penetrometer reading 4.65, which us quite remarkable given the extreme rain and flash flooding that hit Melbourne less than 48 hours ago. Hence, now looking at a GOOD (4) surface.
RAIL: TRUE (ENTIRE CIRCUIT). We head to MOONEE VALLEY with the rail back in the TRUE position, after it was out +5M a couple of weeks back on the Friday night. Given the rain Thursday, and the rail position expecting no major disadvantage to be off the pace/off the fence. However, be sure to watch early races for best guide, especially given the rain that came down Thursday. We walked the track earlier and the track is in fantastic order, main finding is a relatively even surface, not expecting any major advantage/disadvantage, pace dependant.
Race 1: We start with the two year olds and quite simply too much guesswork here, with many unraced and most importantly some unseen, at least in public trials. Good opportunity to watch and learn and hopefully get some guide as to how track may play.
SUGGEST: NO BET AT THIS STAGE (CONFIDENCE 0%)
Race 2: Next is a benchmark 770 for the three year olds fillies over 1200m. Tough race, and disappointingly the two I was keenest on ‘at odds’ are now both out, in the form of TOORAK MISS @ $19+ and TOORAK ROSE @ $14+. As a result, now leaning toward one at a big price in *NOTHING BUT A SAGA* @ $31+ with most operators. Was every bit as impressive as WITCHES (favourite here) last time and has come up $31 v $5! Given price, will make a BEST LONGSHOT bet of the night. Also, want to play SIREN’S REWARD at a tidy $9.50+ with UBET and LUXBET. Freshened for this and gets handy 2kg claim from the in-form Ben Allen. Happy to play around the two in a wide, open affair.
SUGGEST: *NOTHING BUT A SAGA* (EACH WAY) @ $31+, SIREN’S REWARD (WIN / EACH WAY) @ $9.50+, FIRST FOUR (F / 11, 12 / F / 11, 12) (CONFIDENCE 30%)
Race 3: Next is a benchmark 70 over 1000m and in this instance finding it hard to split two in the form of MANIHI MISCHIEF @ $7+ (LADBROKES, BOOKMAKERS, BETSTAR) and LADY ESPRIT @ $4.60+ with UNIBET. MANIHI MISCHIEF was good against the pattern last time, while LADY ESPRIT looks well suited in this grade. Given the odds, happy to play the latter (LADY ESPRIT) on a WIN only basis. Happy to simply play around the two.
SUGGEST: MANIHI MISCHIEF (WIN / EACH WAY) @ $7+, LADY ESPRIT (WIN) @ $4.60+, FIRST FOUR (F / 4, 5 / F / 4, 5) (CONFIDENCE 35%)
Race 4: Now for a benchmark 78 over the famous 2040m at this venue and another open affair, which seems like the common theme of the day. Slight lean on GET THE PICTURE @ $6+ (most operators) who returns to the venue and distance when we saluted at a juicy price with this promising galloper. Was $10+ when we started doing the form, however held fire with some uncertainty over the track/weather and now into $6+. Still like despite the shorter price. Also want a play on CHIATORIO @ $23+ also with LUXBET. Both in the right form for this and wider draws will hopefully not be a negative. Main dangers GALAXY RAIDER and HONEY CARA.
SUGGEST: GET THE PICTURE (EACH WAY) @ $6+, CHIATORIO (EACH WAY) @ $23+, FIRST FOUR (11, 13 / 9, 14 / F / 9, 11, 13, 14) (CONFIDENCE 30%)
Race 5: Next is an open event for the three year olds over 1200m. Don’t see any reason to jump off **FUHRYK** @ $4.40+ (BET365) after dominant win over this track/distance last time in good time. Happy to make a BEST VALUE bet of the day/night given confidence levels. Also, want something on SEGOVIA @ $13+ (most operators) after we were on last time when third and measures up well against key rival WIDGEE TURF after beating him home to back and much better price $13 v $5.50. Main dangers WIDGEE TURF and GRATWICK.
SUGGEST: **FUHRYK** (EACH WAY - PRIMARY) @ $4.40+, SEGOVIA (EACH WAY - SECONDARY) @ $13+, FIRST FOUR (1, 2 / 3, 8 / F / 3, 8) (CONFIDENCE 40%)
Race 6: Next is a benchmark 78 over 1200m and this is an open and competitive affair, meaning a bit of value on offer as long as you can find the winner. As a result, looking at a three-pronged play starting with **ARMADA** at $6+ with BET365. Going well, has always looked above average and no better stable to get a horse winning than D.K.Weir. Happy to make another BEST VALUE bet of the day/night. Secondary play ROMAN FIZZ @ $15+ (BET365) after we were on last time down the straight at Flemington when ‘solid’ without really threatening. Returns to track/distance when victorious two starts back. Finally, a play on *SOLSAY* at big odds, currently $61+ with most/all operators. Is good enough on his day, but does usually need luck in running but should get conditions to suit here. Given the odds, will make a BEST LONGSHOT bet of the day/night. Happy to play around the trio in a wide open affair.
SUGGEST: **ARMADA** (EACH WAY - PRIMARY) @ $6+, ROMAN FIZZ (EACH WAY) @ $15+, *SOLSAY* (EACH WAY) @ $61+, FIRST FOUR (F / 6, 9, 11 / F / 6, 9, 11) (CONFIDENCE 35%)
Race 7: Penultimate event on the card is another benchmark 70, this one for the fillies and mares, over 1200m. Keen on ANATOLA @ $3.60+ (LUXBET) here second up after super run first up last time here at the Valley. Will be better suited over the extra 200m and should get conditions to suit, is the class runner, so hoping class prevails with the ‘best horse’ rule being utilised. Primary play, ahead of BLITHE BELLE at a tidy $14+ with most operators. Dungeon followers will recall winning on this girl at a big price earlier this year. Also, very good first up over unsuitable shorter trip, but better suited second up over longer here. Main danger GO DOWN who was disappointing last time, but had excuses given the pattern of the night and can improve.
SUGGEST: ANATOLA (WIN / EACH WAY) @ $3.60+, BLITHE BELLE (EACH WAY) @ $14+, FIRST FOUR (roving 1, 3, 15 / F), (F / 1, 3, 15 / F / 1, 3, 15) (CONFIDENCE 45%)
Race 8: And we finish with a decent benchmark 90 over the shorter 1000m distance. Pace/tactics and how track is playing looks key here with a distinct lack of pace on paper, which is somewhat rare given the shorter 1000m trip. No doubt pace may be influenced by how track is playing prior. Given speed map, slight lean in a competitive affair to bottom weight SUNDAY ESCAPE @ $7.50+ with BET365. Throw a blanket over just about every other runner in a tough finish.
SUGGEST: SUNDAY ESCAPE (EACH WAY) @ $7.50+ (CONFIDENCE 30%)
Average odds $14.69+ per suggested runner!
** BEST VALUE **: FUHRYK @ $4.40+, ARMADA @ $6+
*BEST LONGSHOT*: NOTHING BUT A SAGA @ $31+, SOLSAY @ $61+