SATURDAY, DECEMBER 23, 2017
Racing at MOONEE VALLEY with fine weather in Melbourne, penetrometer reading 4.48, meaning we’re on a firm GOOD (3) surface.
RAIL: TRUE (ENTIRE CIRCUIT). We head to MOONEE VALLEY with the rail in the TRUE position, historically the fairest position at the track, especially when the track is firm. Normally gives those off the pace and wider on the track, their chance, and the rail was out +6M last week. Hoping for an even track (pace dependant), but with some rain forecast be sure to keep a close eye on early races for best guide.
Race 1: We start with a benchmark 84 over the mile, and despite there only being six runners, an ultra-competitive race with all runners pretty much at single figure odds with many operators. Slight lean to the one who you can just squeeze a double figure price out of in ROYAL APPLAUSE at $10+ with BET365 and SPORTSBET. Going for three in a row, so in form, and gets weight relief to hopefully offset the jump in grade. Happy there each way, remembering no third dividend and literally throw a blanket over the rest, all legitimate winning chances.
SUGGEST: ROYAL APPLAUSE (EACH WAY) @ $10+, FIRST FOUR (2, 4, 6, 7, 8 / 2, 4, 6, 7, 8 / 5 / 2, 4, 6, 7, 8) (CONFIDENCE 25%)
Race 2: Next is a benchmark 70 for the three year old fillies over 1500m. Tricky race again, and despite those shorter in the market looking well placed in a race like this, don’t believe they represent sufficient value to be a betting proposition, and as a result prefer to have smaller plays on a couple at odds. The two in question are ALL OF ME at $15+ (CENTREBET) and MY BAD at a very juicy $35+ with UBET. ALL OF ME in the white-hot Ellerton / Zahra stable, should get gun run from barrier 4 (question will be whether that will be the ideal place to be) and did win last start. Can improve further here, while MY BAD returned well enough to entertain here after a lengthy break. Also in in-form stable (Tony McEvoy) and importantly only win was second win, hence 1 win from 2 second up starts. Worth a play at a big price. Main dangers PLEASURING and KARDASHING.
SUGGEST: ALL OF ME (EACH WAY) @ $15+, ALL OF ME (EACH WAY) @ $35+, FIRST FOUR (1, 10 / F / 1, 10 / 3, 9), (1, 10 / 3, 9 / F / 3, 9) (CONFIDENCE 25%)
Race 3: Next is a benchmark 64 over 1500m. Competitive race once again and I think pace/tactics and how track is playing will play a big part in the result here. Happy to give MACATTACK another chance here at $6.50+ with UBET and CENTREBET. We were on last time, when loomed into the race with real purpose, before unfortunately peaking on run and missing a place altogether, running 4th. Drops in grade here, but up in weight like several others and am hoping the extra run will allowing him to derive the necessary improvement to win here. Main dangers LA VOLT (barrier 15 the query), GUANGZHOU and RANSOM MONEY.
SUGGEST: MACATTACK (EACH WAY) @ $6.50+, FIRST FOUR (6, 10, 17 / F / 6, 10, 17 / 12) (CONFIDENCE 30%)
Race 4: Next is the benchmark 78 over 2040m and at the risk of sounding like a broken record, another ultra-competitive race with all eight runners at 10/1 or less. It’s been a long time between drinks for **SHARDS** but as long as those off the pace are getting their chance, as they should be given the rail position, then the $12+ price with CENTREBET looks good each way value, with three place dividends on offer. At the price, happy to make a BEST VALUE bet of the day on an each way basis. Also, a saving WIN only play on CRAFTY DEVIL at $6.50+ also with CENTREBET. In great form and D. K. Weir is good at keeping them up and firing once they find form. Throw a blanket over the rest.
SUGGEST: **SHARDS** (EACH WAY) @ $12+, CRAFTY DEVIL (WIN) @ $6.50+, FIRST FOUR (F / 3, 4 / F / 3, 4) (CONFIDENCE 35%)
Race 5: Last leg of the early quaddie is an open handicap event over 2500m. Theme of the day, but a smaller field of eight again, but once again plenty of legitimate chances, although the two shortest in the market do definitely look to be the two hardest to beat. This will very much depend on how track is playing and we should have a much clearer view by race 5. If on pacers are being advantaged then favourite IMPERIAL AVIATOR will be very hard to catch, however if those behind the pace are advantaged then ONCIDIUM RULER is the one to beat. At the better price ($3.70 (CENTREBET) v $2.40 (BET365)) and with the lean that those off the pace may be better suited given rail position (TBC) then happy to lean in the camp of ONCIDIUM RULER. In form and hard to beat. Main danger IMPERIAL AVIATOR, ahead of SURVIVED and ORMITO both at double figure prices.
SUGGEST: ONCIDIUM RULER (WIN / EACH WAY) @ $3.70+, FIRST FOUR (2, 3, 6 / 1 / F / 2, 3, 6), (2 / F / 1 / 3, 6) (CONFIDENCE 35%)
Race 6: First leg of the main quaddie is a benchmark 78 over 1200m. Although you would normally expect a bit of pace in a race like this with decent numbers and over the 1200m, there doesn’t necessarily look to be a head here and as a result, find myself leaning towards **KIEVANN** at a respectable $6.50+ with BET365. Steven Brown places his runners well, especially when bringing them to town, especially Moonee Valley. Primary play and happy to make a BEST VALUE bet of the day. Ahead of longshot play on *JUST MAGICAL* at any old price, currently $61+ with CENTREBET. Will appreciate getting back on a firmer surface and has bobbed up for us in the past at a big price. Happy to make a BEST LONGSHOT bet of the day given the big price.
SUGGEST: **KIEVANN** (EACH WAY - PRIMARY @ $6.50+, *JUST MAGICAL* (EACH WAY – SECONDDARY) @ $61+, FIRST FOUR (F / 5 / F / 4) (CONFIDENCE 35%)
Race 7: Next is an open event for the three year olds over 1200m. Only eight runners following scratchings, so again all three dividends up for grabs. MURAAHIB has been gelded and runs here fresh and should be very hard to beat in this grade at $2.60+ with POINTSBET. Stable looking at much stronger races than this, so to be competitive there should be beating this lot. Happy to play on a standalone basis with a bit of confidence.
SUGGEST: MURAAHIB (WIN / EACH WAY) @ $2.60+ (CONFIDENCE 50%)
Race 8: Penultimate event is a benchmark 84 over 1000m. *LEODORO* looks well over the odds here at $21+ with UBET and BET365. Hit the line well late in leader dominated race first up and should strike fitter here second up. Very surprised by the price on offer and as a result, will make a BEST LONGSHOT bet of the day. Should be at least half those odds for mine. I’d be taking the price now. Then want something on PLAY MASTER who is hard to catch in terms of winning, but keeps running very well at big prices, so want to be on at a huge $81+ (WILLIAM HILL, BET365 and CENTREBET). Don’t think he likes the Valley as much as other tracks, but Flemington form (finishing alongside So Si Bon and Sunday Escape last time and beating Divine Mr Artie and co three back tells me something on each way. Similarly DIAMOND OASIS at an even bigger $126+ with CENTREBET. Best is definitely behind it, but doesn’t have to hit those heights to be competitive here. Terrible gate, hence why the price is almost ‘write your own ticket’ but form last prep wasn’t as bad as it reads at first glance. Main dangers WISE HERO, DANCE WITH FONTEIN, MOGADOR and KEN’S DREAM but deep race and doesn’t end there.
SUGGEST: *LEODORO* (EACH WAY) @ $21+, PLAY MASTER (EACH WAY – SECONDARY) @ $81+, DIAMOND OASIS (EACH WAY – SECONDARY) @ $126+, FIRST FOUR (7, 9, 10, 14 / F / 7, 9, 10, 14 / 2, 3, 8) (CONFIDENCE 30%)
Race 9: And we finish with a benchmark 84 over 1500m and think WIDGEE TURF can finish off the day for us by winning the lucky last at $2.60+ with most operators. Always had an opinion of this galloper and although there is decent enough competition here, looks to have the class edge. Should get the right run from the gate and be able to run over the top of them late. Secondary and somewhat speculative play on PLOT THE COURSE here first up after a break at $26+ with most operators. Good enough on his day, key here is fitness levels, first up over 1500m after long break, so take a good look in the yard and also keep an eye on the market. Main danger AMADEUS who looks to be going very well and is the one we need to mow down.
SUGGEST: WIDGEE TURF (WIN / EACH WAY - PRIMARY) @ $2.60+, PLOT THE COURSE (EACH WAY – SECONDARY) @ $26+, FIRST FOUR (roving 3, 5, 9 / F), (5 / F / F / 3, 9) (CONFIDENCE 40%)
Average odds $27.69+ per suggested runner!
** BEST VALUE **: SHARDS @ $12+, KIEVANN @ $6.50+
*BEST LONGSHOTS*: JUST MAGICAL @ $61+, LEODORO @ $21+