MOONEY VALLEY- COX PLATE DAY
RACE 1- 955M- Strathmore Community Bendigo Bank Handicap
2- ANCESTRY- A smart and classy operator, has plenty of speed and an ability to maintain the rage. Last win was convincing when challenged, proved to be to good there.
1- JUNGLE EDGE- The old boy will be licking his lips at the forecast, rain is his best mate and there’ll be plenty this weekend. His price will decrease throughout the day as the rain comes.
7- FREE OF DEBT- Resumes here with a good fresh record, has a win and a second. That second split Super Seth and Dalasan last campaign. One to watch.
3- HOLBIEN- Resuming here, a powerful runner who can compete hard. May find this a bit much so early in the campaign.
Suggested Bet: Ancestry- win
RACE 2- 1000M- Inglis Banner
14- SNEAKY FIVE- Cost $305,000, had an easy jump out with stable mates leading into this where there wasn’t much pressure.
5- PREDETERMINED- $60,000 yearling who ran trail three-wide on-speed. Came second there showing some grit.
7- SON OF MERCURY- Cost $250,000, comes out of same trail as top pick here. Will want to see more but price indicates something.
15- TEMPEST CHARM- $32,000 yearling, used inside gate to lead and then kick away in jumpout win.
Suggested Bet: No bet.
RACE 3- 1200M- GROUP 3 PFD Food Services Red Anchor Stakes
5- PORTLAND SKY- Ran fourth behind September Run last time out which is not to be ignored, had to go inside them on that run which wasn’t ideal. That was a fast race and he run well.
1- VALAQUENTA- Comes out of same race as top pick, had every chance to win that but couldn’t keep up. Run behind Muntaseera fresh was impressive and he will be peaking here.
7-BELLA NIPOTINA- Ran well behind Swats That and Muntaseera last time out in a very well rated race. Had no luck in Moir here when made to go wide. Her best is good enough to beat the boys here.
2- FREE TO MOVE- Has won over the track and trip which is a huge plus at MV, that form was franked afterwards with a winner coming out. Will create own luck on-speed.
Suggested Bet: Portland Sky- win
RACE 4- 1600M- GROUP 2 Lexus Fillies Classic
1- THERMOSPHERE- Wasn’t super impressive in the Thousand Guineas but had excuses, win week before that was super tough and had to take the scenic route then. Will be better here for the rest. Wet, yes.
2- ECUMENICAL- Was quite impressive in Thousand Guineas, had no right to hold on the way she did showing toughness. Will need luck here though with a wide draw, at her price I’m happy to watch.
4- INCREDULOUS DREAM- Won well with a good trail into the race last weekend at Caulfield, was six weeks between runs then so will be better for that here. 1600m yes!
6- YES BABY YES- Couldn’t have done much more last week, ran behind third pick who had the run of the race. There is a question over the mile but she can run a race.
Suggested Bet: Thermosphere- win
RACE 5- 1600M- GROUP 3 Powerflo Solutions Stakes
3- SOVEREIGN AWARD- Has won last two in good fashion, won here two back when getting a beautiful run in transit. Then led and dictated the race when scoring latest. Weather nothing to worry about.
10- PARADEE- Has a 5kg swing on the top pick here, will come here super fit and ready to strike. Had it pretty hard first-up and then gap until second-up. Will improve.
8- FASCINO- Has had no luck this campaign at all, is crying out for the mile here and gets it. Won here last year, and improvement gives her a chance.
5- BONVICINI- Fought hard against the tempo last time out, hit the line very well. Will be fitter now and can rise another level here.
Suggested Bet: No bet
RACE 6- 2040M- GROUP 2 Drummond Golf Vase
1- KHOEKHOE- Finished off very well when scoring last time out, has built in trips very well and looks primed for the rise again here. Third in that win won last week so the form looks better now.
6- YOUNG WERTHER- Ran second in the race mentioned in above pick, inexperience cost him there. May come here better for the run but is maybe under the odds.
3- CHERRY TORTONI- Looked primed to score at Group 1 level last time in Sydney but was unable to finish off, query whether the 2000m was too much. Will find this easier which may help him run out the trip better.
2- LUNAR FOX- Wasn’t up to the class of the third pick here last time out, battled well for a good finish in the Guineas and looks primed for this trip.
Suggested Bet: Khoekhoe- win
RACE 7- 1600M- GROUP 2 Schweppes Crystal Mile
1- HOMESMAN- Resumes here with a good first-up record, class runner who is suited by WFA scale here. Ran in some high quality races earlier in the year and wasn’t disgraced when only 2.5L off Te Akau Shark and Verry Elleegant in a fast G1 fresh last prep. He won the Feehan here easily fresh prior. Rates well here.
2- KINGS WILL DREAM- Rarely runs a bad race, comeback from career threatening injury has been unreal. Only finished 2.5L behind Verry Elleegant in the Turnbull Stakes, drops back to the mile which will be a plus.
6- AGE OF CHIVALRY- Was forced wide last start and battled as well as could be expected, made up for a poor run before that but faces a different challenge at WFA.
8- CHIEF IRONSIDE- Comes here third-up peaking, won this race last year and can score again. First-up run was franked and was ok second-up.
Suggested Bet: Homesman- win/ Kings Will Dream- save
RACE 8- 2500M- GROUP 2 McCafe Moonee Valley Gold Cup
4- SHARED AMBITION- Went for home a long way out last time at Flemington, did very well to hold on there though and will be better for that run. Had 58.5kg that day and drops to 56kg here, will find more luck here in the run home.
8- OCEANEX- Won’t be peaking here with a Melbourne Cup slot already booked, has gradually built and has been doing so pretty well but may not be worth the risk here. Class though.
7- SOUND- Ran well last start at Headquarters, hasn’t won for a long time now which is always a worry. Ran well in Melbourne and Caulfield Cups last year.
2- HUSH WRITER- Beaten by a very good one in Newcastle Cup, battled hard that day but maybe lacked some class. Had every chance latest but couldn’t take advantage, will find this easier to win though.
Suggested Bet: Shared Ambition- win
RACE 9- 2040M- GROUP 1 Ladbrokes Cox Plate
11- RUSSIAN CAMELOT- A genuine star, had a hiccup last start when beaten by Arcadia Queen. Has won 3 from 4 on soft ground which is a plus. Before that start he looked unbeatable here, has all the class and carries very little here as a 3 year-old. Still only lightly raced but has had a great campaign.Widest ally may force Damien Oliver’s hand to go forward.
13- PROBABEEL- Has been very good in Sydney and will hope to bring that here, had an awful trip in G1 Epsom and managed to score there. Showed an ability to push past from wide which is key at MV. Has only missed quinella on soft ground once from ten starts.
9- ARCADIA QUEEN- Finally arrived in Melbourne with big win over Russian Camelot in Caulfield Stakes last time out, hasn’t run a bad race this campaign. May give Russian Camelot a head start and will have to go for home early.
2- HUMIDOR- Has reached form better then anything he had shown before, Chris Waller has him humming. Ran past Arcadia Queen a few starts back before being un-suited by tempo latest. Has run a huge Cox Plate in past when pushing Winx in 2017.
Suggested Bet: Russian Camelot- win/ Probable save
RACE 10- 1200M- 3YO Ladbrokes Crockett Stakes
1- MINHAAJ- Ran identical last 600m to Swats That behind September Run first-up, Swats That then went on to win well. Then again ran behind September run next time, avoids that one here which is a huge plus.
2- MAHA- Beat Minhaaj home last time and now meets a her 1kg better, that could see this race swing in her favour.
5- WRITTEN BEAUTY- Lightly raced but has impressed so far, won second-up last campaign which bodes well here. Is nominated for Friday night as well. Will get across to lead them out and pattern will be critical.
4- HIGHLY DISCREET- Comes here ready to peak, first-up run here was really impressive . Second-up failure is a forgive.
Suggested Bet: Minhaaj- win
MOONEY VALLEY- FRIDAY NIGHT
RACE 8- 1200M- GROUP 1 Manikato Stakes
1- TREKKING- Was superb in a hot Everest, held on bravely for fourth there as they swooped for him. Here off a six day back-up is a query but he is as tough as they come, fresh run in Moir here was brilliant and he will eat the 1200m.
9- BELLA VELLA- Ran well in Moir here when forced to take run on rail, wasn't the ideal place to be that night and she battled hard. She loves the Valley and looks over the odds here.
8- PIPPIE- Will lead them out and that will give her every chance, was very good with win in Moir but not sure she wanted any more than the 1000m. But she will take some catching.
2- HEY DOC- Had no luck in Moir fresh, had to wide which was not helpful. Was better in Schillachi and comes here ready to peak, won this in 2017 and has plenty of class.
Suggested Bet: Trekking- win