Just the one winner from 4 bets last week, it was a good one though getting backed from $4.00 into 2.30 and never looking in doubt. There looks to be a few showers between Wednesday and Saturday so it’s more than likely that we’ll be racing on a Soft track. It’s very important to monitor the track bias at the Valley.
The headline races for Saturday at Moonee Valley are the $120,000 Mckenzie Stakes (Race 5) and the $120,000 Carlyon Stakes (Race 8). All 9 races are covered in our thorough analysis below including our Race Prediction, One for Exotics, Betting Verdict and Quadrella Numbers.
Race 1 Benchmark 96 2500m
There isn’t a whole lot between the top 3 in this one. Black Tomahawk looks a good thing to turn the 0.1L margin on Au Revoir. He took an eternity to get going down the straight and although the Valley isn’t ideal, the services of Craig Williams and the low weight should get him home here. Araldo Junior is impossible to catch but three runs back he absolutely brained them from the front over this distance. Did look to have every chance last start. Try Four took out a maiden hurdle last start and beat home recent city performer Oncidium Ruler prior. He’s in this. Au Revoir and Refectory for wider exotics.
One for exotics: Refectory ($13)
Race prediction: 3-2-4-1
Verdict: Black Tomahawk for the win. Black Tomahawk W@3.00
Race 2 Benchmark 78 1600m
Liked the way Archean hit the line first up. He’s won second up before and should be in the finish here. Laqha didn’t show her best first up in a race the suited the swoopers. She has a liking to the Moonee Valley circuit and has a terrific record at the mile. Dont count her out. Caprese finished alongside of Archean last time. He has a very good record here but think Archean has more upside. Grand Dreamer is another who ran well first up. Has a good overall record at the mile and should be running on. Miss Denni is another horse second up with a chance. Beat subsequent winner Kaniana home last time, usually races a bit flat second up though.
One for exotics: None
Race prediction: 5-3-2-9
Verdict: Archean is worth a bet at the odds. Archean W@6.00
Race 3 4YO+ Mares Benchmark 90 1200m
I’m a big fan of French Emotion. She resumes here and bolted in over this distance fresh last preparation. This looks to be her pet trip but she does look short enough in a class she’s never won before (90 grade). Refuse to Lose lead all the way last time and has a great record at 1200. She has measured up in town before. Foreign Affair comes out of the same race as Refuse to Lose and she didn’t enjoy the best run in transit last time. She’s always around the mark. Rockolicious closed well first up. She’s never won second up and might want further now. Blinkers first time and form on wet are big ticks. Vibrant Rouge can’t seem to return to the winners circle but she’s knocking on the door. A repeat of her effort last time will see her in the finish. Needs it dry. Unsure about Catch a Fire as all of her form is 3YO restricted.
One for exotics: Refuse to Lose ($15)
Race prediction: 2-6-9-3
Verdict: Looking for one to beat French Emotion but can’t find it. French Emotion W@3.20
Race 4 3YO Fillies Plate 1200m
Really tough race. Zamzam is a big watch from the Hayes and Dabernig yard. She has two wins around this circuit and does her best racing over 1200. Sweet Sherry’s one win came first up down the Flemington straight on debut. She wasn’t disgraced in 4 very tough races since including the Golden Slipper and the Blue Diamond. Ariaz looked smart on debut beating Motown Lil easily (Racing here). She then went to the Breeders stakes and found one better. Immediately spelled. Respecting Piccadillies on debut, whilst Moonlover is my pick of the maiden brigade.
One for exotics: Moonlover ($11)
Race prediction: 1-2-4-12
Verdict: No bets.
Race 5 3YO Colts and Geldings Mckenzie Stakes 1200m
Going with Dam Ready here. He resumes gelded and should take great benefit already having a win around this course. Has drawn off the track though. It was hard to miss Ken’s Dream on debut at Echuca. This is a big step up but he could be something special. Verstappen also walked in on debut but on the synthetic track. Oli takes the ride. China Dream gets the blinkers on first time. He was only 2 lengths off Flying Artie at start number 2. Could be the blowout. Rampage and Throssell go in next.
One for exotics: China Dream ($21)
Race prediction: 3-8-7-4
Verdict: No bets.
Race 6 Open Handicap 2040m
Pin Your Hopes has a nice weight swing and looks to be well suited back on the rain affected track. There is a bit of a question mark over his ability to run out a strong 2000 but i’m willing to give him another go. Tooleybuc Kid looks well suited here second up. Flew home from last first up to just fall short of the flying Royal Rapture and steps up another 300 metres in distance. Only issue is he took his time to get going on that occasion and not so sure the tight Valley circuit is ideal. Killarney Kid has an impeccable record at 2000 metres. He seems to perform a bit better on top of the ground and his record at the track (2:0-0-0) is worrying. Yulong Baby will be hard to hold out with just 52.5. Bold Sniper can bounce back down in the weights. Has beaten Master of Arts this prep. Golden Mane is always thereabouts in these sorts of races. He isn’t ideally suited on the weight scale though. Prima could be the blowout. He lead all the way last start and wasn’t far away from the likes of Yulong Baby and Golden Mane back in February.
One for exotics: Tooleybuc Kid ($11)
Race prediction: 3-4-1-8
Quaddie selections: 1, 3, 4, 8
Verdict: Giving Pin Your Hopes another chance. Pin Your Hopes W@7.00
Race 7 Open Handicap 1500m
There’s no doubting Pilote D’essai was huge first up and he looks a group performer this spring. He’s drawn the widest barrier here which will be no easy task and $2 looks a bit of a risk. Royal Rapture is in top form and there’s no reason he can’t win again. This race does look tougher than his effort last start but he is flying, just needs some cover from the barrier. Nevis is a handy frontrunner on his day and could take some catching around this track if he gets an easy lead. Onpicalo is another likely frontrunner who loves the jar out of the track. He’s drawn well and bolted in here three back. Most of these runners are stayers that will likely need the run but Pemberley has proven he can handle the short distances. He bolted in first up last prep over a rather weak field but the first up and distance form are big ticks.
One for exotics: Nevis ($11)
Race prediction: 9-3-2-5
Quaddie selections: 2, 3, 5, 9, 12
Verdict: Pilote D’essai should be winning but not excited by the barrier. No bets.
Race 8 4YO+ Carlyon Stakes 1000m
Heatherly is the one to beat here. Her win in the Rubiton Stakes at Caulfield when leading all the way was unbelievable. She beat some good horses on that occasion and followed it up with a 0.8L 3rd to Flamberge and Fell Swoop. She’s drawn well to lead, loves the short trip and has won at Moonee Valley twice before. Wet track the only concern. Shiraz looks a huge chance here first up. He’s proven at the top level and is a genuine winner (10 from 20). Drawn to get a soft run and will be in the finish. Wild Rain trialled like a star and performed accordingly first up. The form from that race has been okay and she loves the short going. Going to need some luck from the barrier but has to be included. Beau Rada does all of his best racing at the Valley. Beat Sheidel here last prep. I’m a fan of O’Malley but this looks a bit tough first up. Wary of Williams jumping on Keen Array but he just wasn’t good enough last prep for me. Needs to lift. I’ll also be keeping a keen eye on Diamond Oasis first up for Weir.
One for exotics: Beau Rada ($26)
Race prediction: 5-1-8-10
Quaddie selections: 1, 5, 8, 10
Verdict: Shiraz looks the safe play on the wet track for those interested in betting. No bets
Race 9 Benchmark 78 1200m
This is a seriously tough way to finish the quaddie. Many of these met down the straight two weeks ago and the majority of them will race significantly different around this circuit. Fast Cash has drawn wide here which will make it very difficult. His late sectionals were fantastic first up, he’s a winner second up and likes moonee valley. If anyone can guide him to victory from 18 its Oliver. Shaf was dominant in that race first up. He doesn’t have the best stats on paper but he can’t be ignored. Rough Justice has a good record second up and at the valley. He should take great benefit from the run first up. Magicus is 4th emergency but is a must if he gains a start. Magnus Reign beat home Voodoo Lad two back before not firing a shot last time. He has a good record at Moonee Valley and is generally around the mark at 1200. I have my queries over Jungle Edge but he was pretty impressive last start.
One for exotics: Rough Justice ($13)
Race prediction: 10-6-4-18
Quaddie selections: 4, 6, 8, 10, 11, 18
Verdict: No bets.